Definition of instinctive in US English:

instinctive

adjective

  • 1Relating to or prompted by instinct; apparently unconscious or automatic.

    ‘an instinctive distaste for conflict’
    • ‘Whether we're conscious of it or not, we have an instinctive way of approaching color.’
    • ‘Where Dan's response to the landscape is creative, instinctive and passionate, Ann's is methodical and cold.’
    • ‘In this quite abnormal character, instinctive wisdom appears only to hinder conscious knowledge at certain points.’
    • ‘It seems remarkable that the arrival of such an instinctive, unpredictable character results in the ship being steadied.’
    • ‘He was gifted when it came to matters relating to the soil and livestock and his instinctive knowledge was always put to good use.’
    • ‘The art tends to be beautiful and quite raw - it has a childlike, instinctive quality in some ways and is really technical in others.’
    • ‘It is an instinctive recognition of what their successors have done to the spirit and style of the game in the intervening years.’
    • ‘The ideology, which he professes not to possess, is instinctive.’
    • ‘He relies on an instinctive sense of who is good and who is bad overseas?’
    • ‘This could make for clearer conversation and remove the instinctive impulse to shout into a phone when the line is very noisy.’
    • ‘It is an intuitive and instinctive art that does not need school tutoring.’
    • ‘The question turns upon how much violence is done to our instinctive feelings of justice and fair play.’
    • ‘Some say only humans are conscious and animals are instinctive and machinelike.’
    • ‘The spiritual and the supernatural, even the gruesome arouse an instinctive curiosity in all of us.’
    • ‘It's about making things look, sound, and feel so good that their first impression has emotional and instinctive impact.’
    • ‘The union overcomes this instinctive knowledge by convincing teachers that they in fact have no capacity to teach.’
    • ‘A man with an instinctive knowledge of the land, he was regarded as one of the top farmers in the region down through the years.’
    • ‘And perhaps is it our instinctive love of blood and gore that makes us shudder about stories of vampire bats?’
    • ‘Cats can represent feminine and instinctive feelings, and this is reinforced by the fact that they're your mother's pets.’
    • ‘He had an instinctive knowledge of the area and its people and a great ‘feel’ for country life.’
    1. 1.1 (of a person) doing or being a specified thing apparently naturally or automatically.
      ‘an instinctive writer’
      • ‘Were you naturally instinctive or did your parents force you to take lessons?’
      • ‘He's instinctive, plays both the run and the pass well and has tremendous burst.’
      • ‘I suspect that many instinctive Conservatives may well do that.’
      • ‘When you approach this kind of role, do you think about it or are you instinctive?’
      • ‘He was an instinctive, thoroughbred talent who never had to worry about tactics or movement since it came naturally to him.’
      • ‘The vast number of instinctive conservatives know there is something wrong with the New Capitalism.’
      • ‘I think he had not only the training of method acting, but I think he was also instinctive.’
      • ‘He is also instinctive and tactical and would be a great fit on a team that needs a quick fix at guard.’
      • ‘They are instinctive commissars, which made the UN their natural ally.’
      • ‘Long-term injury to Garry O'Connor robbed them of one of Scottish football's most instinctive finishers.’
      • ‘Bennett gets open because he is instinctive, makes good decisions and runs great routes.’
      • ‘As an instinctive fence-sitter, I have recently found myself ambivalent on most of them.’
      • ‘He was the most wonderful, instinctive actor, with a strange grace that came from his early years as a song-and-dance man.’
      • ‘I found that she's a very intuitive, instinctive actress, she doesn't talk a lot of stuff about motivations.’
      intuitive, natural, innate, inborn, inherent, inbred, instinctual, unconscious, subconscious, subliminal, emotional, intuitional, untaught, unlearned
      View synonyms

Usage

Instinctive and instinctual both mean ‘relating to or prompted by instinct; unlearned, natural, automatic.’ Instinctual (like processual and other similar formations) is a variant usually found in learned journals of the social sciences

Pronunciation

instinctive

/ɪnˈstɪŋ(k)tɪv//inˈstiNG(k)tiv/