in·stinct


in·stinct
/ˈınˌstıŋkt/ noun, pl -stincts
1 a : a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned : a natural desire or tendency that makes you want to act in a particular way
[count]

Our first instinct was to run.

Cats possess a natural hunting instinct.

Seeing the baby aroused all her maternal instincts.

[noncount]

The decision was based on (gut) instinct.

— see also killer instinct
1 b : something you know without learning it or thinking about it
[count]

Her instincts told her that something was wrong. [=she believed that something was wrong even though there was no obvious reason to believe it]

You have to learn to trust/follow your instincts. [=to trust your feelings about what is right or true even when you cannot be sure that it is right or true]

He has been guided throughout his career by his political instincts.

[noncount]

Mere instinct alerted her to the danger.

He knew by instinct what not to say.

She seemed to know by instinct that something was wrong.

— compare intuition
2 [count] : a natural ability

He has a strong survival instinct.

an athlete with good instincts

— often + for

He has a strong instinct for survival.

She has a natural instinct for making the right decisions in her job.

— sometimes followed by to + verb

a strong instinct to survive


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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