Instinct

Definition of Instinct

In`stinct´   Pronunciation: ĭn`stĭņkt´
a.1.Urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled; imbued; animated; alive; quick; as, birds instinct with life.
The chariot of paternal deity . . .
Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed
By four cherubic shapes.
- Milton.
A noble performance, instinct with sound principle.
- Brougham.
n.1.
1.Natural inward impulse; unconscious, involuntary, or unreasoning prompting to any mode of action, whether bodily, or mental, without a distinct apprehension of the end or object to be accomplished.
An instinct is a propensity prior to experience, and independent of instructions.
- Paley.
An instinct is a blind tendency to some mode of action, independent of any consideration, on the part of the agent, of the end to which the action leads.
- Whately.
An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge.
- Sir W. Hamilton.
By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust
Ensuing dangers.
- Shak.
2.(Zool.) Specif., the natural, unreasoning, impulse by which an animal is guided to the performance of any action, without thought of improvement in the method.
The resemblance between what originally was a habit, and an instinct becomes so close as not to be distinguished.
- Darwin.
3.A natural aptitude or knack; a predilection; as, an instinct for order; to be modest by instinct.
v. t.1.To impress, as an animating power, or instinct.

Related Words

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instigant
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