1. 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.
2. A powerful motivation or impulse.
3. An innate capability or aptitude: an instinct for tact and diplomacy.
1. Deeply filled or imbued: words instinct with love.
2. Obsolete Impelled from within.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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