View synonyms for instigator


[ in-sti-gey-ter ]


  1. a person or thing that provokes or incites an action or course: Plays to be performed at the festival focus on a theme of how youth can be the instigators of positive change.

    Peaceful protesters outnumbered the violent instigators, and they kept the demonstration from becoming a riot.

    Plays to be performed at the festival focus on a theme of how youth can be the instigators of positive change.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of instigator1

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin instigātor, equivalent to instigāt(us) + -or -or 2( def ); instigate ( def )
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Example Sentences

Trent Frederic, the instigator in the Capitals’ previous meetings with the Bruins, was also not in Thursday’s lineup because of a non-covid-related illness.

The final instigator, Bob Huggins once said, was all the losing.

Though no one has been charged with leading or directing the violence, investigators are working to find out whether certain individuals helped coordinate aspects of the attack, before and during the chaos, or were merely opportunistic instigators.

For a while in the 1990s and early 2000s Michael worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, once again playing the role of scientific instigator and catalyst.

That aggressive behavior is apparently meant to disrupt the feeding insects and help the instigators score dinner, biologist and neuroscientist Alex Keene and colleagues report online November 19 in iScience.

There is something disingenuous about his playing both instigator and victim.

He was definitely an instigator [of the conversation], but I never felt intimidated.

He felt terrible, especially because it was his friend who had clearly been the instigator of the fight.

Soon afterwards Mathurin Lejeusne, the instigator of the sacrilege, was shot for some breach of military duty.

He saw at once that the man had been put up to act in this way by some one, and had little doubt that Brigson was the instigator.

To Gudrun, who wakes from sleep by his side, he points to Brynhild as the instigator of the crime, and dies.

In fact, a night's reflection had convinced him that Clameran was the instigator of the two attempts to kill him.

Would ye lay contrivances against the enlightened races of the earth, ye instigator of illegal crimes?


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