Instinct vs Sense - What's the difference?

instinct | sense |

As adjectives the difference between instinct and sense

is that instinct is (archaic) imbued, charged ((with) something) while sense is sensible, rational.

As a noun instinct

is a natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



  • 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)
  • (senseid) Any of the manners by which living beings perceive the physical world: for humans sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste.
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (William Shakespeare)
  • Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep.
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (Milton)
  • What surmounts the reach / Of human sense I shall delineate.
  • (senseid)Perception through the intellect; apprehension; awareness.
  • a sense of security
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) Sir (Philip Sidney)
  • this Basilius, having the quick sense of a lover
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (John Milton)
  • high disdain from sense of injured merit
  • (senseid)Sound practical or moral judgment.
  • It's common sense not to put metal objects in a microwave oven.
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (w, L'Estrange)
  • Some are so hardened in wickedness as to have no sense of the most friendly offices.
  • (senseid)The meaning, reason, or value of something.
  • You don’t make any sense .
    the true sense of words or phrases
  • * Bible, Neh. viii. 8
  • So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense .
  • * (and other bibliographic particulars) (Shakespeare)
  • I think 'twas in another sense .
  • (senseid)A natural appreciation or ability.
  • A keen musical sense
  • (senseid)(pragmatics) The way that a referent is presented.
  • (senseid)(semantics) A single conventional use of a word; one of the entries for a word in a dictionary.
  • (mathematics) One of two opposite directions in which a vector (especially of motion) may point. See also polarity.
  • (mathematics) One of two opposite directions of rotation, clockwise versus anti-clockwise.
  • (senseid) referring to the strand of a nucleic acid that directly specifies the product.
  • Hyponyms

    * See also

    Derived terms

    * sense of smell (see olfaction) * (l)

    See also

    * business sense * common sense * sixth sense * sight / vision * hearing / audition * taste / gustation * smell / olfaction * touch / tactition * thermoception * nociception * equilibrioception * proprioception


  • To use biological senses: to either smell, watch, taste, hear or feel.
  • To instinctively be aware.
  • She immediately sensed her disdain.
  • To comprehend.
  • Statistics



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