instigate was our Word of the Day on 07/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
By courageously standing up for fair wages, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have instigated essential conversations on racism, sexism, and equity in Hollywood.
Hopefully CNN's analysis will go some way towards instigating change.
The company billed it as the thinnest smartphone in the world, instigating an ongoing design rivalry with other tech companies.
The creator instigated a number of rules that have been followed for every single iteration of Star Trek that has come since.
There’s an implication that the Stonewall riots were instigated by trans people of color, who were then erased by the white cis middle class.
The 16-year-old boy was charged with obstructing official business after instigating the fight Sunday at Perkins Park, 899 Diagonal Road, according to an Akron police report.
As in the first trial, Mathews tried to insinuate that DuBose was a drug dealer and a deadbeat who, if not fully deserving his demise, instigated reasonable enough fear in Tensing to present just cause for his grisly killing.
Evictions spike as property management companies instigate zero-tolerance policies against rent arrears.
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.
Synonym Discussion of instigate
INSTIGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of instigate for English Language Learners
: to cause (something) to happen or begin
INSTIGATE Defined for Kids
Definition of instigate for Students
: to cause to happen or begin He instigated the fight.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up instigate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).