Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: instinctus, from instinguere 'to make someone wish to do something'

instinct

noun
     
in‧stinct [uncountable and countable]
a natural tendency to behave in a particular way or a natural ability to know something, which is not learned [↪ intuition]
instinct for
Animals have a natural instinct for survival.
instinct to do something
the human instinct to form relationships
by instinct
Birds build nests by instinct.
Her instinct told her that something was wrong.
somebody's first instinct (=what someone feels like doing first when something happens)
His first instinct was to rush back to Isobel.

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