instigate was our Word of the Day on 07/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
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
But prosecutors didn’t file charges, saying in those cases, it’s unclear who instigated the fighting.
Your green strategies in your daily life can have a small impact, but the whole planet has to be on board for dealing with climate change in order to instigate global effects.
The inmate who instigated the ordeal had been on suicide watch at the jail and was receiving medical treatment at the hospital, according to the lawsuit.
During a fight, one of the mothers of one of the females can be seen instigating the fight and kicking one of the females in the head.
One opponent of the statue, Amy Maxwell, said that people from both groups were carrying handguns, and at one point someone snatched the Confederate flag and ran off, instigating a chase from the pro-monument group.
A spokesman for Gianforte accused Jacobs of instigating the tussle.
Instigate a flame war with the guy in seat 3B. Hack into pilot radio communications.
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.
Origin and Etymology of instigate
Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare — more at stick
First Known Use: 1542
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
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