- 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
- 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.