If a characteristic or ability is already present in a person or animal when they are born, it is innate. People have the innate ability to speak whereas animals do not.

  • Pronunciation: /ɪ'net/
  • English Description: not inheritable
  • Chinese Translation: 天生的(tian1 sheng1 de)
  • Spanish Translation: innato
  • STORY: Innate can also be used figuratively for something that comes from the mind rather than from external sources. Do you know someone with an innate sense of style? Some kids seem to have an innate sense of fairness where others seem to be natural bullies. In some contexts, innate means inherent. There is an innate sadness in certain types of ceremonies.


  • He listens to me talk about my work night after night after night and has an innate ability to put everything in perspective.
  • If you like, you can believe in a tyrannical god who creates some people only to condemn them for something innate to their created personhood.

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