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imprinting

[ im-prin-ting ]
/ ɪmˈprɪn tɪŋ /
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See synonyms for: imprinting / imprintings on Thesaurus.com

noun Animal Behavior, Psychology.

rapid learning that occurs during a brief receptive period, typically soon after birth or hatching, and establishes a long-lasting behavioral response to a specific individual or object, as attachment to parent, offspring, or site.

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Origin of imprinting

1937; imprint + -ing1, translation of German Prägung, K. Lorenz's term
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for imprinting

imprinting
/ (ɪmˈprɪntɪŋ) /

noun

the development through exceptionally fast learning in young animals of recognition of and attraction to members of their own species or to surrogates
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

Medical definitions for imprinting

imprinting
[ ĭmprĭn′tĭng ]

n.

A learning process occurring early in the life of a social animal in which a specific behavior pattern is established through association with a parent or other role model.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for imprinting

imprinting
[ ĭmprĭn′tĭng ]

A rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal establishes a behavior pattern of recognition and attraction towards other animals of its own kind, as well as to specific individuals of its species, such as its parents, or to a substitute for these. Ducklings, for example, will imprint upon and follow the first large moving object they observe. In nature, this is usually their mother, but they can be made to imprint upon other moving objects, such as a soccer ball.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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