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 Westar Institute strives to instigate conversation between religious scholars and the public.
Winston also instigated a fight along the sideline during the third quarter, chirping at Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore before a scrum ensued.
Until former President Barack Obama instigated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in 2012, Dreamers lived under the threat of deportation to countries many of them barely knew.
On the other hand, there’s no doubt Russia would love to instigate unrest in the United States.
Many, however, thought using social media could backfire with negative intruders instigating disputes that could spill out at school.
State investigators later confirmed Scout Schultz made the 911 call that instigated the deadly encounter.
For all this Alaskans owe a word of thanks to Charles Edwardsen Jr., or Etok, a fiery Inupiat leader who was infuriated by the state selection of the Prudhoe Bay lands and instigated the Arctic Slope land claim.
Spencer said his followers won't instigate violence.
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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