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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-stingk-tiv] /ɪnˈstɪŋk tɪv/
of, relating to, or of the nature of instinct.
prompted by or resulting from or as if from instinct; natural; unlearned:
an instinctive will to survive.
Also, instinctual
[in-stingk-choo-uh l] /ɪnˈstɪŋk tʃu əl/ (Show IPA)
Origin of instinctive
First recorded in 1640-50; instinct1 + -ive
Related forms
instinctively, instinctually, adverb
half-instinctive, adjective
half-instinctively, adverb
noninstinctive, adjective
noninstinctively, adverb
noninstinctual, adjective
noninstinctually, adverb
semi-instinctive, adjective
semi-instinctively, adverb
uninstinctive, adjective
uninstinctively, adverb
uninstinctiveness, noun
2. spontaneous, intuitive, unpremeditated. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for instinctive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was a negress and he knew it, and yet the act was instinctive and irresistible.

    The Sins of the Father Thomas Dixon
  • For it is this inner verdict of instinctive idealism that is the point at issue.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • Somewhere out in the audience of the world there must be those who are in instinctive sympathy with me.

    Memoirs of an American Prima Donna Clara Louise Kellogg
  • Charles felt some instinctive quiverings; but it passed by him, and did no harm.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • Razumov made an instinctive movement to help, which startled her so much that she nearly dropped her hissing burden.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for instinctive


of, relating to, or resulting from instinct
conditioned so as to appear innate: an instinctive movement in driving
Derived Forms
instinctively, instinctually, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for instinctive

1610s (implied in instinctively), from Latin instinct-, past participle stem of instinguere (see instinct) + -ive. Related: Instinctiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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