Instinct vs Libido - What's the difference?

instinct | libido |

As nouns the difference between instinct and libido

is that instinct is a natural or inherent impulse or behaviour while libido is libido (sexual urges or drives).

As an adjective instinct

is (archaic) imbued, charged ((with) something).



  • A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.
  • Many animals fear fire by instinct .
  • * Shakespeare
  • By a divine instinct , men's minds mistrust / Ensuing dangers.
  • * {{quote-book
  • , year=1921 , title= , author=Bertrand Russell , passage=In spite of these qualifications, the broad distinction between instinct and habit is undeniable. To take extreme cases, every animal at birth can take food by instinct, before it has had opportunity to learn; on the other hand, no one can ride a bicycle by instinct, though, after learning, the necessary movements become just as automatic as if they were instinctive.}}
  • An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.
  • an instinct''' for order; to be modest by '''instinct
    Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

    Derived terms

    * instinctively * instinctive


    (en adjective)
  • (archaic) Imbued, charged ((with) something).
  • * Milton
  • The chariot of paternal deity / Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed / By four cherubic shapes.
  • * Brougham
  • a noble performance, instinct with sound principle
  • * 1928 , (HP Lovecraft), ‘The Call of Cthulhu’:
  • This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.




    (en noun)
  • (common usage) Sexual urges or drives.
  • Good grief man, control your libido !
  • (psychology) Drives or mental energies related or based on sexual instincts but not necessarily sexual in and of themselves.
  • For Freudians, libido means the desire to "unite and bind" with objects in the world .
    The ego as an organ which seeks to synthesize thoughts in the psyche is said to be driven by libido or eros .


    * horniness


    * (in common usage ): boredom

    See also

    * nymphomaniac, hypersexuality, masturbator