American English

Definition of instinct noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [uncountable, countable]
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  1. 1instinct (for something/for doing something) instinct (to do something) a natural tendency for people and animals to behave in a particular way, using the knowledge and abilities that they were born with rather than thought or training maternal instincts Children do not know by instinct the difference between right and wrong. His first instinct was to run away. Horses have a well-developed instinct for fear. Even at school, he showed he had an instinct for (= was naturally good at) business.
  2. 2instinct (that…) a feeling that makes you do something or believe that something is true, even though it is not based on facts or reason synonym intuition Her instincts had been right.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: instinct

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