1. existing in one from birth; inborn; native: innate musical talent.
  2. inherent in the essential character of something: an innate defect in the hypothesis.
  3. originating in or arising from the intellect or the constitution of the mind, rather than learned through experience: an innate knowledge of good and evil.


  1. existing in a person or animal from birth; congenital; inborn
  2. being an essential part of the character of a person or thing
  3. instinctive; not learnedinnate capacities
  4. botany (of anthers) joined to the filament by the base only
  5. (in rationalist philosophy) (of ideas) present in the mind before any experience and knowable by pure reason

early 15c., from Late Latin innatus “inborn,” past participle of innasci “to be born in, originate in,” from in- “in” (see in- (2)) + nasci “to be born” (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). Related: Innately.


  1. Possessed at birth; inborn.
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