from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli: the spawning instinct in salmon; altruistic instincts in social animals.
- n. A powerful motivation or impulse.
- n. An innate capability or aptitude: an instinct for tact and diplomacy.
- adj. Deeply filled or imbued: words instinct with love.
- adj. Obsolete Impelled from within.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.
- n. An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.
- adj. Imbued, charged (with something).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled; imbued; animated; alive; quick.
- n. 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.
- n. Specif., the natural, unreasoning, impulse by which an animal is guided to the performance of any action, without thought of improvement in the method.
- n. A natural aptitude or knack; a predilection
- transitive v. To impress, as an animating power, or instinct.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Urged or animated from within; moved inwardly; infused or filled with some active principle: followed by with.
- To impress as by an animating influence; communicate as an instinct.
- n. A special innate propensity, in any organized being, but more especially in the lower animals, producing effects which appear to be those of reason and knowledge, but which transcend the general intelligence or experience of the creature; the sagacity of brutes.
- n. Natural intuitive power; innate power of perception or intuition.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. (followed by `with')deeply filled or permeated
- n. inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli
Middle English, from Latin īnstīnctus, impulse, from past participle of īnstinguere, to incite : in-, intensive pref.; see in-2 + stinguere, to prick; see steig- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin instinctus, past participle of instinguere ("to incite, to instigate"), from in ("in, on") + stinguere ("to prick") (Wiktionary)