instigate

[in-sti-geyt]
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verb (used with object), in·sti·gat·ed, in·sti·gat·ing.
  1. to cause by incitement; foment: to instigate a quarrel.
  2. to urge, provoke, or incite to some action or course: to instigate the people to revolt.

Origin of instigate

1535–45; < Latin instīgātus past participle of instīgāre to goad on, impel, equivalent to in- in-2 + -stīg- goad, prick (akin to stigma, stick2) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·sti·gat·ing·ly, adverbin·sti·ga·tive, adjectivein·sti·ga·tor, in·sti·gant [in-sti-guhnt] /ˈɪn stɪ gənt/, nounun·in·sti·gat·ed, adjectiveun·in·sti·ga·tive, adjective

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for instigate

instigate

verb (tr)
  1. to bring about, as by incitement or urgingto instigate rebellion
  2. to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
Derived Formsinstigatingly, adverbinstigation, nouninstigative, adjectiveinstigator, noun

Word Origin for instigate

C16: from Latin instīgāre to stimulate, incite; compare Greek stizein to prick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for instigate
v.

1540s, back-formation from instigation or else from Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare "to urge on, incite" (see instigation). Related: Instigated; instigates; instigating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper