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instinctive

[in-stingk-tiv]
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or of the nature of instinct.
  2. prompted by or resulting from or as if from instinct; natural; unlearned: an instinctive will to survive.
Also in·stinc·tu·al [in-stingk-choo-uh l] /ɪnˈstɪŋk tʃu əl/.

Origin of instinctive

First recorded in 1640–50; instinct1 + -ive
Related formsin·stinc·tive·ly, in·stinc·tu·al·ly, adverbhalf-in·stinc·tive, adjectivehalf-in·stinc·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·stinc·tive, adjectivenon·in·stinc·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·stinc·tu·al, adjectivenon·in·stinc·tu·al·ly, adverbsem·i-in·stinc·tive, adjectivesem·i-in·stinc·tive·ly, adverbun·in·stinc·tive, adjectiveun·in·stinc·tive·ly, adverbun·in·stinc·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms

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2. spontaneous, intuitive, unpremeditated.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for instinctively

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At this ominous sight, I instinctively seized the bitts for protection.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • He had heard many descriptions of him and he knew him instinctively.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Instinctively the girl looked to Kirkwood; then shifted her glance to their host.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Instinctively she put her head out of the window to look back at them.

  • Tom instinctively slipped behind the trunk of the great oak.


British Dictionary definitions for instinctively

instinctive

instinctual

adjective
  1. of, relating to, or resulting from instinct
  2. conditioned so as to appear innatean instinctive movement in driving
Derived Formsinstinctively or 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

Word Origin and History for instinctively

instinctive

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper