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 push for the region of 7.5 million people to separate from Spain has instigated the country's deepest political crisis in its 40 years of democracy after the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, who died in 1975.
Yet little is known about the sheer magnitude of the problem, and spreading awareness is different from instigating actual change.
Upon his release from prison, Banks helped instigate a number of aggressive demonstrations to accomplish AIM’s goals.
Corbin said an angry man arrived at the party and instigated a fight, and Cole died when trying to grab that man’s weapon.
And Avatar, for the record, earned its $2.7-billion gross despite being banned in China soon after its release; leaders reportedly feared the film’s alien uprising might instigate a popular revolt.
Ultimately, things got incredibly serious incredibly fast, forcing us to take a long, hard look at Talib’s role in instigating this brawl.
Their argument, essentially, is that the president served as a go-between in pushing owners to agree to blackball the quarterback for instigating a league-wide protest movement.
The Briton has also referenced the movement instigated by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a series of Instagram posts, using the #TakeAKnee hashtag.
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.
Synonymsabet, brew, ferment, foment, incite, pick, provoke, raise, stir (up), whip (up)
Related Wordsadvance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nourish, nurture, promote, sow, stimulate; detonate, set, set off, trigger; excite, galvanize, inflame (also enflame), inspire, motivate, rouse; activate, energize, enliven, fire, invigorate, jazz (up), liven (up), pep (up), quicken, stimulate, vitalize
Near Antonymsbridle, check, constrain, curb, discourage, hold, inhibit, regulate, rein (in), restrain, tame; allay, calm, quiet, settle, soothe, still, subdue, tranquilize (also tranquillize)
Synonym Discussion of instigate
- inciting a riot
- instigated a conspiracy
- aiding and abetting the enemy
- fomenting rebellion
INSTIGATE Defined for English Language Learners
INSTIGATE Defined for Kids
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