instinct


instinct
intuition, instinct
The two words overlap in meaning, and the OED indeed uses intuition in one of its definitions of instinct. Both refer to intellectual activity and both denote processes in which knowledge is apprehended without using any process of reasoning. An important difference, however, is that intuition is confined to humans whereas instinct is attributable to the animal world at large. In extended meanings, intuition means ‘immediate insight’ into a fact or feeling (as in the notorious phrase a woman's intuition), and instinct means ‘unconscious skill’ (an instinct for getting the best deal); these meanings too refuse to stay apart. Examples: (intuition)

• A student's intuition moves far more swiftly than can an instruction manual, and I believe that self-tuition is the finest form of education —R. Brindle Smith, 1986

• Whatever that small voice of intuition was telling her about her destiny, common-sense decreed that the Prince already had a full hand of potential suitors —A. Morton, 1993

• (instinct) Blythswood Square, once home of the infamous poisoner Madaleine Smith, and latterly, numerous other ladies with hearts of loose change and the instincts of a blushing tarantula —E. Chisnall, 1989

• Running out was totally unprofessional, but she had acted purely on instinct —J. Evans, 1993.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • INSTINCT — L’éthologie comparative, qui cherche à retracer, à l’aide de comparaisons interspécifiques, l’évolution des comportements à travers la série zoologique, propose une théorie renouvelée des instincts et définit ces derniers comme des actes propres… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Instinct — • The term usually includes the idea of a purposive adaptation of an action or series of actions in an organized being, not governed by consciousness of the end to be attained Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Instinct     Instinc …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Instinct — is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. Instincts are unlearned, inherited fixed action patterns of responses or reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. Examples of instinctual fixed action patterns can be… …   Wikipedia

  • instinct — INSTÍNCT, instincte, s.n. Complex de reflexe înnăscute, necondiţionate, proprii indivizilor dintr o anumită specie şi care le asigură dezvoltarea organismului, alimentarea, reproducerea, apărarea. – Din fr. instinct, lat. instinctus. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • Instinct — In stinct ([i^]n st[i^][ng]kt), n. [L. instinctus instigation, impulse, fr. instinguere to instigate: cf. F. instinct. See {Instinct}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Natural inward impulse; unconscious, involuntary, or unreasoning prompting to any mode of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • instinct — INSTINCT. s. m. Certain sentiment & mouvement que la nature a donné aux animaux pour connoistre ce qui leur est bon ou mauvais. Un instinct naturel. les bestes ont l instinct qui les fait agir, se conduisent, se gouvernent par l instinct, par pur …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • instinct — [in′stiŋkt΄; ] for adj. [ in stiŋkt′, in′stiŋkt΄] n. [< L instinctus, pp. of instinguere, to impel, instigate < in , in + * stinguere, to prick: for IE base see STICK] 1. (an) inborn tendency to behave in a way characteristic of a species;… …   English World dictionary

  • Instinct — In*stinct , a. [L. instinctus, p. p. of instinguere to instigate, incite; cf. instigare to instigate. Cf. {Instigate}, {Distinguish}.] Urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled; imbued; animated; alive; quick; as, birds… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Instinct — Разработчик …   Википедия

  • Instinct — (ISSN 1096 0058) ist eine US amerikanische Zeitschrift. Die Zeitschrift richtet sich an homosexuelle und bisexuelle Männer in den Vereinigten Staaten. Das Magazin wird seit 1997 monatlich in englischer Sprache landesweit herausgegeben, Die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Instinct — In*stinct ([i^]n*st[i^][ng]kt ), v. t. To impress, as an animating power, or instinct. [Obs.] Bentley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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