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put someone up to

Incite someone to do something, especially a mischievous or malicious act. For example, My brother put me up to making those prank telephone calls, or They didn't think of it on their own; someone put them up to it. [Early 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.