death instinct(redirected from death instincts)
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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.
an instinct of living creatures toward self-destruction, death, or a return to the inorganic lifelessness from which they arose.
Synonym(s): aggressive instinct
A primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, postulated by Sigmund Freud as coexisting with and opposing the life instinct. Also called Thanatos.
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.