- 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 instigator
He was definitely an instigator [of the conversation], but I never felt intimidated.Inside Hollywood’s ‘Twink’ Pool Parties
April 19, 2014
He felt terrible, especially because it was his friend who had clearly been the instigator of the fight.What Guns Do, and What they Don't
December 10, 2012
All at once it occurred to him that some reward was due the instigator of his success.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
John C. Calhoun was, or was charged with being, the instigator of this movement.The Nation in a Nutshell
George Makepeace Towle
Or, she can see the objects, admire them, but seek beyond them for their Instigator and Creator.The Prodigal Returns
They believed the Iron Duke to be the instigator and encourager of a shabby trick.The Shellback's Progress
Why should these young men, who were led into this scheme by me, suffer as much as the instigator?My Bondage and My Freedom
- to bring about, as by incitement or urgingto instigate rebellion
- to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
Word Origin and History for instigator
1590s, from Latin instigator, agent noun from instigare (see instigation). Fem. formation instigatrix is recorded from 1610s.
1540s, back-formation from instigation or else from Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare "to urge on, incite" (see instigation). Related: Instigated; instigates; instigating.