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 or U] uk   /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/ us  
C2 the way people or animals naturally react or behave, without having to think or learn about it: All his instincts told him to stay near the car and wait for help. [+ to infinitive] Her first instinct was to run. It is instinct that tells the birds when to begin their migration. figurative Bob seems to have an instinct for (= is naturally good at) knowing which products will sell.
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 Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of instinct?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “instinct”

Definitions of “instinct” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More