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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Instinct


INSTINCT', adjective [Latin instinctus. See the Noun.]

Moved; animated; excited; as instinct with spirit.

Betulia--instinct with life.

IN'STINCT, noun [Latin instinctus, inwardly moved; in and stinguo.]

A certain power or disposition of mind by which, independent of all instruction or experience, without deliberation and without having any end in view, animals are unerringly directed to do spontaneously whatever is necessary for the preservation of the individual, or the continuation of the kind. Such, in the human species, is the instinct of sucking exerted immediately after birth, and that of insects in depositing their eggs in situations most favorable for hatching.

INSTINCT may be defined, the operation of the principle of organized life by the exercise of certain natural powers directed to the present or future good of the individual.

INSTINCT is the general property of the living principle, or the law of organized life in a state of action.

And reason raise o'er instinct as you can,

In this 'tis God directs, in that 'tis man.