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[in-sti-gey-shuh n]
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  1. the act of instigating; incitement.
  2. an incentive.
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Origin of instigation

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin instīgātiōn- (stem of instīgātiō). See instigate, ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for instigation

Historical Examples

  • His feelings had been played upon by the owner of the Indian, at Langdon's instigation.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Her mother, at the instigation of Antony Harlowe, forbids their correspondence.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • If so, why at the instigation of the Continent order 100,000 breechloaders?

  • Another was published in 1783 at Benjamin Franklin's own instigation.

  • We turned mutineers at your instigation, and what have we made of it?

Word Origin and History for instigation


early 15c., from Middle French instigation and directly from Latin instigationem (nominative instigatio), noun of action from past participle stem of instigare "urge on, incite," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + *stigare, a root meaning "to prick," from PIE root *steig- "to prick, stick, pierce" (see stick (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper