Definition of instinctual in US English:



  • Relating to or denoting an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior; based on instinct.

    ‘an instinctual survival response’
    ‘instinctual maternal behavior’
    • ‘Their "knowledge" is instinctual, rather than rational.’
    • ‘The artist's penchant for manipulating what is instinctual is profound.’
    • ‘Her passion seems instinctual, more like the weary empathy of Garbo, inseparable from her being.’
    • ‘In cold logic, she had quelled her instinctual need for company.’
    • ‘He will control the relationships in the society based on his own instinctual impulses.’
    • ‘We are the rotted bags of meat moving to the next location, hoping to find a source of instinctual nourishment.’
    • ‘His professional decisions have been pretty instinctual, he says.’
    • ‘The wider the range of legitimate opportunity, the less the instinctual choice to steal access.’
    • ‘Everything she does in the film is an instinctual thing.’
    • ‘Craft is the critical mind working on instinctual creative decisions.’