Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “instinct”

See all translations

instinct

noun [C/U]  /ˈɪn·stɪŋkt/ us  
a natural ability that helps you decide what to do or how to act without thinking: [U] He lacked the instinct for quick action. [C] His biggest asset may be his political instincts. Instinct is also the ability to behave in a particular way that has not been learned: [U] the maternal instinct
Translations of “instinct”
in Korean 본능…
in Arabic غَريزة…
in French instinct…
in Turkish içgüdü, doğal eğilim…
in Italian istinto…
in Chinese (Traditional) 本能,直覺…
in Russian инстинкт…
in Polish instynkt…
in Spanish instinto…
in Portuguese instinto…
in German der Instinkt…
in Catalan instint…
in Japanese 本能…
in Chinese (Simplified) 本能,直觉…
(Definition of instinct from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of instinct?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “instinct” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More