- See under death instinct.
Origin of life instinct
First recorded in 1905–10
- suicidal tendency or inclination; predisposition to self-destruction.
- Psychoanalysis. an impulse to withdraw or destroy, working in opposition to forces urging survival and creation (life instinct).
Origin of death instinct
First recorded in 1915–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for life instinct
The gradual disappearance of my “life-instinct,” which already began a few years ago, is now more marked, more precise.Life of Elie Metchnikoff, 1845-1916
- psychoanal the instinct for reproduction and self-preservation
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
- In psychoanalytic theory, the instinct of self-preservation and sexual procreation.
- A primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, manifested by a turning away from pleasure, postulated by Sigmund Freud as coexisting with and opposing the life instinct.Thanatos
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.