nounDate: 1937 a rapid learning process that takes place early in the life of a social animal (as a goose) and establishes a behavior pattern (as recognition of and attraction to its own kind or a substitute)
Imprint Im*print", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Imptrinted; p. pr. & vb. n. Imprinting.] [OE. emprenten, F. empreint, p. p. of empreindre to imprint, fr. L. imprimere to impres, imprint. See 1st In-, Print, and cf. Impress.] 1. To impress; to mark by pressure; to indent; to stamp. And sees his num'rous herds imprint her sands. --Prior. 2. To stamp or mark, as letters on paper, by means of type, plates, stamps, or the like; to print the mark (figures, letters, etc., upon something). Nature imprints upon whate'er we see, That has a heart and life in it, ``Be free.'' --Cowper. 3. To fix indelibly or permanently, as in the mind or memory; to impress. Ideas of those two different things distinctly imprinted on his mind. --Locke.