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life instinct

noun
  1. See under death instinct.
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Origin of life instinct

First recorded in 1905–10

death instinct

noun
  1. suicidal tendency or inclination; predisposition to self-destruction.
  2. Psychoanalysis. an impulse to withdraw or destroy, working in opposition to forces urging survival and creation (life instinct).
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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

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Olga Metchnikoff


British Dictionary definitions for life instinct

life instinct

noun
  1. psychoanal the instinct for reproduction and self-preservation
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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

life instinct in Medicine

life instinct

n.
  1. In psychoanalytic theory, the instinct of self-preservation and sexual procreation.
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death instinct

n.
  1. 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
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.