Definition of homing instinct in English:

homing instinct


  • An animal's innate ability to return to its territory after travelling away from it.

    ‘scientists report that some garden snails have a homing instinct’
    • ‘All money nowadays seems to be produced with a natural homing instinct for the Treasury.’
    • ‘On the edges of the old city a few foxes lope, a few late drinkers follow their homing instinct.’
    • ‘The relocation operation relies on the birds' excellent natural homing instinct, which compels them to return to the site where they hatched.’
    • ‘His homing instinct was strong, and he struggled onward.’
    • ‘The latest animal to display an extraordinary homing instinct is Basil, the Welsh cob.’
    • ‘Nobody knows for certain why birds react in this way and why they have a homing instinct.’
    • ‘The homing instinct of stem cells has been exploited in animal experiments to deliver a 'suicide gene' to tumour cells, leaving normal tissues unharmed.’
    • ‘The sport of pigeon racing is built around a central mystery: the strange homing instinct of the pigeon.’
    • ‘Over generations of grazing on the same land, the flock has developed a homing instinct, which means that they do not stray from their pastures.’
    • ‘Because both are anadromous species with weak homing instincts, they colonized coastal streams far from the original points of introduction.’