- to cause by incitement; foment: to instigate a quarrel.
- to urge, provoke, or incite to some action or course: to instigate the people to revolt.
Origin of instigate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for instigate
The liberated soul does not cease to act, to think, to create, to instigate revolutionary flows.On Torture, Chuck Johnson & Sondheim
December 13, 2014
Republicans will continue to avoid a grand bargain and instigate crises.No Matter How Crazy Washington Is, Americans Can’t Stop Shopping
March 13, 2013
As such, the U.A.E. is not a bad place to instigate change in the region.Global Women’s Group Makes a Move
September 20, 2011
And he is at a stage in his life now where he can instigate projects.Christopher Plummer's Depths
June 2, 2011
He's always trying to instigate and stuff like that, and my friends back home don't do that.DJ Pauly D Sounds Off
March 23, 2011
To instigate, incite, provoke, to urge on: from the Anglo-Saxon eggion.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
How does abet differ from incite and instigate as to the time of the action?English Synonyms and Antonyms
James Champlin Fernald
I have let you recruit criminals and instigate riots while you live in my mansion.The Saracen: Land of the Infidel
So many favors from heaven were calculated to instigate the malice of hell.
What might instigate him to this devilish act, I am not able to conjecture.The Diary of John Evelyn, Volume II (of 2)
- to bring about, as by incitement or urgingto instigate rebellion
- to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
Word Origin and History for instigate
1540s, back-formation from instigation or else from Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare "to urge on, incite" (see instigation). Related: Instigated; instigates; instigating.