death instinct

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instinct

 [in´stinkt]
a complex of unlearned responses characteristic of a species. adj., adj instinc´tive.
death instinct Freud's concept of an unconscious drive toward dissolution and death, in opposition to the life instinct.
herd instinct the instinct or urge to be one of a group and to conform to its standards of conduct and opinion.
life instinct Freud's concept of all the constructive tendencies of the organism aimed at maintenance and perpetuation of the individual and species, in opposition to the death instinct.

death in·stinct

an instinct of living creatures toward self-destruction, death, or a return to the inorganic lifelessness from which they arose.
Synonym(s): aggressive instinct

death instinct

n.
A primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, postulated by Sigmund Freud as coexisting with and opposing the life instinct. Also called Thanatos.

death instinct

instinctive behavior that tends to be self-destructive.

death in·stinct

(deth in'stingkt)
The instinct of all living creatures toward self-destruction, death, or a return to the inorganic lifelessness from which they arose.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pym's narrative as a whole can be read in the light of this tension between the pleasure principle and the death instincts, as several critics have pointed out.
Unless, as Freud qualifies it, the reality principle intervenes, this nirvana principle, this death instinct, becomes the goal of life.
Because the death instinct is predicated on an erotic impulse to create matrixes through which one might modify--or sublimate--the instinctual threat perceived, where one can, while excluding the physical consequences, transform into pleasure the stimulation afforded from the danger associated with death, it seems all too easy to argue that representation is equal to impulse and that there is always something libidinal buried beneath the portrayal of invasion or subjugation.