Innate vs. Enate

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Innate is an adjective that means a quality, attribute or talent that is inborn, natural, existing within someone or something since birth. The adverb form is innately, the noun form is innateness. Innate comes into the language in the early fifteenth century and is derived from the Latin innatus, the past participle of innasci meaning to be born in or originate in.

Enate is an adjective that means to be related through one’s mother’s lineage, enatic is also used as an adjective to mean to be related through one’s mother’s lineage. Enate may also be used as a noun, meaning a person related to one’s mother. In biology, enate means growing outward. Enate comes from the Latin enatus, the past participle of enasci, which means to issue forth, to be born.


But every child is born with an innate sense of wonder and individual gifts that, unfettered by the constraints of Industrial Age schooling, could yield wonders yet unthought and unseen. (The Miami Herald)

Emotional competencies are not innate talents but rather learned capabilities that must be developed and practiced to achieve higher levels of performance. (Forbes)

His theory was that psychological health depended on satisfying a series of innate human needs — physiological, safety, love, esteem — and culminated in “self-actualization,” or striving to become the best person you can be. (The San Jose Mercury News)

Talking about Day, who with his wife Ellie is soon to have their second child, Norman said: “His strong belief and fighting off certain conditions that he has had, and his tenacity of getting up and finishing when he was basically recommended not to continue on … they are the innate strong characteristics that I love.” (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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