Let's Compare Innate and Instinctive


An intrinsic property is a property of a system or of a material itself or within. It is independent of how much of the material is present and is independent of the form of the material, e.g., one large piece or a collection of small particles.

innate adj 1: not established by conditioning or learning; "an unconditioned reflex" [syn: {unconditioned}, {unlearned}] [ant: {conditioned}] 2: being talented through inherited qualities; "a natural leader"; "a born musician"; "an innate talent" [syn: {natural}, {born(p)}, {innate(p)}] 3: present at birth but not necessarily hereditary; acquired during fetal development [syn: {congenital}, {inborn}, {inherent}]

50 Moby Thesaurus words for "innate": atavistic, automatic, bodily, born, coeval, congenital, connatal, connate, connatural, constitutional, deep-seated, elemental, essential, genetic, genic, hereditary, impulsive, in the blood, inborn, inbred, incarnate, indigenous, ingrained, inherent, inherited, instinctive, instinctual, intrinsic, involuntary, libidinal, matroclinous, native, native to, natural, natural to, normal, organic, patrimonial, patroclinous, physical, primal, regular, spontaneous, standard, subliminal, temperamental, typical, unacquired, unconscious, unlearned

Innate \In*nate"\, v. t. To cause to exit; to call into being. [Obs.] ``The first innating cause.'' --Marston. [1913 Webster]

Innate \In"nate\ ([i^]n"n[asl]t or [i^]n*n[=a]t"; 277), a. [L. innatus; pref. in- in + natus born, p. p. of nasci to be born. See {Native}.] 1. Inborn; native; natural; as, innate vigor; innate eloquence. [1913 Webster] 2. (Metaph.) Originating in, or derived from, the constitution of the intellect, as opposed to acquired from experience; as, innate ideas. See {A priori}, {Intuitive}. [1913 Webster] There is an innate light in every man, discovering to him the first lines of duty in the common notions of good and evil. --South. [1913 Webster] Men would not be guilty if they did not carry in their mind common notions of morality, innate and written in divine letters. --Fleming (Origen). [1913 Webster] If I could only show, as I hope I shall . . . how men, barely by the use of their natural faculties, may attain to all the knowledge they have, without the help of any innate impressions; and may arrive at certainty without any such original notions or principles. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 3. (Bot.) Joined by the base to the very tip of a filament; as, an innate anther. --Gray. [1913 Webster] {Innate ideas} (Metaph.), ideas, as of God, immortality, right and wrong, supposed by some to be inherent in the mind, as a priori principles of knowledge. [1913 Webster]

INNATE, adj. Natural, inherent -- as innate ideas, that is to say, ideas that we are born with, having had them previously imparted to us. The doctrine of innate ideas is one of the most admirable faiths of philosophy, being itself an innate idea and therefore inaccessible to disproof, though Locke foolishly supposed himself to have given it "a black eye." Among innate ideas may be mentioned the belief in one's ability to conduct a newspaper, in the greatness of one's country, in the superiority of one's civilization, in the importance of one's personal affairs and in the interesting nature of one's diseases.


Instinct or innate behavior is the hypothetical inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular complex behavior.

instinctive adj : unthinking; prompted by (or as if by) instinct; "a cat's natural aversion to water"; "offering to help was as instinctive as breathing" [syn: {natural}]

82 Moby Thesaurus words for "instinctive": animal, animalian, animalic, animalistic, atavistic, automatic, beastlike, beastly, bestial, blind, bodily, born, brutal, brute, brutelike, brutish, coeval, compulsive, conditioned, congenital, connatal, connate, connatural, constitutional, dumb, forced, genetic, gut, hereditary, immediate, impulsive, in the blood, inborn, inbred, incarnate, indigenous, ingrained, inherent, inherited, innate, instinctual, intestinal, intrinsic, intuitional, intuitive, involuntary, irrational, libidinal, mechanical, mindless, native, native to, natural, natural to, nonrational, normal, organic, physical, primal, reflex, reflexive, regular, spontaneous, subconscious, subhuman, subliminal, temperamental, typical, unconscious, unintentional, unlearned, unmeditated, unpremeditated, unprompted, unthinking, unwilled, unwilling, unwitting, visceral, zoic, zooidal, zoologic

Instinctive \In*stinc"tive\, a. [Cf. F. instinctif.] 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.'' --Milton. ``Instinctive dread.'' --Cowper. [1913 Webster] With taste instinctive give Each grace appropriate. --Mason. [1913 Webster] Have we had instinctive intimations of the death of some absent friends? --Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] Note: The terms instinctive belief, instinctive judgment, instinctive cognition, are expressions not ill adapted to characterize 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. --Sir H. Hamilton. Syn: Natural; voluntary; spontaneous; original; innate; inherent; automatic. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • innate: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • innate: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • innate: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • innate: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • innate: THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ((C)1911 Released April 15 1993)
  • instinctive: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • instinctive: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • instinctive: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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Your Comparisons - Innate And Instinctive