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.
Origin of instigate
Synonyms for instigate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
to bring about, as by incitement or urgingto instigate rebellion
to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
Word Origin for instigate
C16: from Latin instīgāre to stimulate, incite; compare Greek stizein to prick
1540s, back-formation from instigation or else from Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare "to urge on, incite" (see instigation). Related: Instigated; instigates; instigating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper