Of or pertaining to instinct; derived from, or prompted by, instinct; of the nature of instinct; determined by natural impulse or propensity; acting or produced without reasoning, deliberation, instruction, or experience; spontaneous. "Instinctive motion." . "Instinctive dread." "With taste instinctive give Each grace appropriate." (Mason) "Have we had instinctive intimations of the death of some absent friends?" (Bp. Hall)

The terms instinctive belief, instinctive judgment, instinctive cognition, are expressions not ill adapted to characterise a belief, judgment, or cognition, which, as the result of no anterior consciousness, is, like the products of animal instinct, the intelligent effect of (as far as we are concerned) an unknown cause.

Synonyms: Natural, voluntary, spontaneous, original, innate, inherent, automatic.

Origin: Cf. F. Instinctif.

(01 Mar 1998)