Meaning of “instinct” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"instinct" in British English

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instinctnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/ us /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/

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.

(Definition of “instinct” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"instinct" in American English

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instinctnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈɪn·stɪŋkt/

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

(Definition of “instinct” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)