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Noun, pl. instincts

1. The inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular complex behavior. (

2. A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour (

3. An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought. (

4. An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli (

5. An innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli. (Google Dictionary)

Syn: Innate behavior

Word origin: From Latin instinctus “instigation, impulse,” noun use of past participle of instinguere “to incite, impel,” from in– “on” + stinguere “prick, goad.”

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