instigate was our Word of the Day on 07/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of instigate in a Sentence
There has been an increase in the amount of violence instigated by gangs.
The government has instigated an investigation into the cause of the accident.
Recent Examples of instigate from the Web
The narrative was that Trump was instigating a nuclear holocaust.
Bin Salman, who last year instigated a corruption purge of his country’s elites, is the public face of the Kingdom’s bid to diversify its almost entirely oil dependent economy.
Romelu Lukaku instigated something of a 'north vs south' divide debate on Twitter recently.
Apple has already attempted to instigate a mini keyboard revolution in laptops, having introduced the Touch Bar in 2016 to the MacBook Pro.
Yet that massacre—which in 1999 took 13 lives, a dozen of them students—did not inspire a Never Again-type movement or instigate much political change.
They are accused of instigating the protests that shook the government around the New Year in an effort to show that Mr. Rouhani’s promises of economic growth were failing.
Batshuayi instigated the move with a good pass for Schuerrle.
Trump frequently instigated fights and rarely let a slight go unanswered via his favorite weapon, his Twitter account.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instigate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Instigate is often used as a synonym of incite (as in "hoodlums instigating violence"), but the two words differ slightly in their overall usage. Incite usually stresses an act of stirring something up that one did not necessarily initiate ("the court's decision incited riots"). Instigate implies responsibility for initiating or encouraging someone else's action and usually suggests dubious or underhanded intent ("he was charged with instigating a conspiracy"). Another similar word, foment, implies causing something by means of persistent goading ("the leader's speeches fomented a rebellion"). Deriving from the past participle of the Latin verb instigare, instigate first appeared in English in the mid-16th century, approximately 60 years after incite and about 70 years before foment.
set in motion;
Synonym Discussion of instigate
- inciting a riot
- instigated a conspiracy
- aiding and abetting the enemy
- fomenting rebellion
INSTIGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of instigate for English Language Learners
: to cause (something) to happen or begin
INSTIGATE Defined for Kids
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