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instinct - definition and synonyms

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noun [countable/uncountable]     instinct pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a natural tendency to behave in a particular way that people and animals are born with and that they obey without knowing why. For example the maternal instinct is a woman’s natural tendency to behave like a mother

    the instinct of ducklings to follow their mother

    instinct for:

    the instinct for survival

  2. 2
    a natural ability to know what to do in a particular situation

    My first instinct was to turn and run.

    trust/follow your instincts:

    It’s always best to trust your instincts.

    instinct tells/warns you:

    Instinct told me that it would be unwise to return home.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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