Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of, relating to, or prompted by instinct.
  • adjective Arising from impulse or natural inclination; done without thought or conscious effort; spontaneous.
  • adjective Being such by natural inclination rather than conscious effort or study.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Prompted by or of the nature of instinct.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to instinct; derived from, or prompted by, instinct; of the nature of instinct; determined by natural impulse or propensity; acting or produced without reasoning, deliberation, instruction, or experience; spontaneous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective related to or prompted by instinct
  • adjective driven by impulse, spontaneous and without thinking.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective unthinking; prompted by (or as if by) instinct

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The actions of man which have been loosely described as instinctive belong for the most part to those classes of actions which we have already shown to be in no proper sense of the word instinctive, that is, those concerned in the appetites and in the functions of organic life.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 05, No. 31, May, 1860

  • To Jung must be given the credit of having recognized and demonstrated the existence in the human being of the natural tendency towards the high, of a genuine need, which he called instinctive, for spiritual satisfaction.

    C. G. Jung and Psychosynthesis, by Roberto Assagioli

  • "The Kolbe," as it is casually known, measures what she refers to as an instinctive modus operandi, or conative skills, the traits each of us is born with.

    Kansas City Star: Front Page

  • "The Kolbe," as it is casually known, measures what she refers to as an instinctive modus operandi, or conative skills, the traits each of us is born with.

    Kansas City Star: Front Page

  • It is vain then to contend that the ease and certainty with which an action is performed, even though it may have now become matter of such fixed habit that it cannot be suddenly and seriously modified without rendering the whole performance abortive, is any argument against that action having been an achievement of design and reason in respect of each one of the steps that have led to it; and if in respect of each one of the steps then as regards the entire action; for we see our own most reasoned actions become no less easy, unerring, automatic, and unconscious, than the actions which we call instinctive when they have been repeated a sufficient number of times.

    Evolution, Old & New Or, the Theories of Buffon, Dr. Erasmus Darwin and Lamarck, as compared with that of Charles Darwin

  • It is vain then to contend that the ease and certainty with which an action is performed, even though it may have now become matter of such fixed habit that it cannot be suddenly and seriously modified without rendering the whole performance abortive, is any argument against that action having been an achievement of design and reason in respect of each one of the steps that have led to it; and if in respect of each one of the steps then as regards the entire action; for we see our own most reasoned actions become no less easy, unerring, automatic, and unconscious, than the actions which we call instinctive when they have been repeated a sufficient number of times.

    Selections from Previous Works and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals

  • There is definitely something to what Monsignor Albacete says about Americans having a certain instinctive sense about the principle of subsidiarity, even if most of them have never heard of it.

    Education

  • There is definitely something to what Monsignor Albacete says about Americans having a certain instinctive sense about the principle of subsidiarity, even if most of them have never heard of it.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • The recipe is "a vue d'oeil" or "measure by eye," in other words an instinctive approach, therefore the indicated amounts are approximate.

    With Some Passing on Gefilte Fish, A New Lure: Fish 'Meatballs'

  • So instinctive is our response to it that it has almost never been regarded as 'cultural' or 'educational.'

    Class-Consciousness and the 'Movies'

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