Dictionary.com

instigate

[ in-sti-geyt ]
/ ˈɪn stɪˌgeɪt /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: instigate / instigated / instigating / instigative on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), in·sti·gat·ed, in·sti·gat·ing.
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.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of instigate

First recorded in 1535–45; from Latin instīgātus, past participle of instīgāre “to goad on, impel,” equivalent to in- “in” + -stīg- “to goad, prick” + -ātus past participle suffix; see in-2, -ate1; akin to stigma, stick2

OTHER WORDS FROM instigate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use instigate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for instigate

instigate
/ (ˈɪnstɪˌɡeɪt) /

verb (tr)
to bring about, as by incitement or urgingto instigate rebellion
to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action

Derived forms of instigate

instigatingly, 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
FEEDBACK