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.
- in·sti·gat·ing·ly, adverb
- in·sti·ga·tive, adjective
- in·sti·ga·tor, noun
- un·in·sti·gat·ed, adjective
- un·in·sti·ga·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use instigate in a sentence
It’s true that the Kennedy administration instigated use of the doctrine against right-wing radio, whereas it was less often used as a tool against liberal speech.Restoring the Fairness Doctrine can’t prevent another Rush Limbaugh | Heather Hendershot | February 19, 2021 | Washington Post
Nor do I believe that was what the president was instigating.
Instigating military involvement without considering these issues is nothing more than a short-sighted action.
Australian brand Solid Gold Bomb was caught hawking rape-themed T-shirts on Amazon's UK site, instigating public horror.
Bakkar and his fellow Salafists were blamed by some for instigating the chaos, though they condemned the violence from the start.Nader Bakkar, Salafist Spokeman, on the Embassy Riots and Bridge Building in a Post–Arab Spring Egypt | Mike Giglio | September 25, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
But he said he later saw a police report accusing him of instigating the violence and organizing a riot outside the courtroom.Chess Champ Garry Kasparov: ‘They Were Trying to Break My Leg’ | Eli Lake | August 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Hotri, the immortal god goes in front with his secret power, instigating the sacrifices.Sacred Books of the East | Various
His merit in that eminence was, by instigating a tyrant to injustice, to provoke a people to rebellion.The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 | Ministry of Education
He has so far succeeded in instigating the Boer nation to acts which involve the forfeiture of their special heirlooms.Origin of the Anglo-Boer War Revealed (2nd ed.) | C. H. Thomas
After lunch Lady Carbury strolled about with her son, instigating him to go over at once to Caversham.The Way We Live Now | Anthony Trollope
One would never suspect, when reading it, that Germany had played any part in instigating the negotiation.The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I | Burton J. Hendrick
British Dictionary definitions for instigate
to bring about, as by incitement or urging: to instigate rebellion
to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
- instigatingly, adverb
- instigation, noun
- instigative, adjective
- instigator, noun
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