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
Ishida believed the dog may have tried to instigate a fight with the cat, which fought back.
Sports gambling could begin in a matter of weeks in casinos and racetracks in New Jersey, which instigated the legal fight by repealing its gambling prohibition.
The move instigated protests which led to further violent clashes in Kashmir.
In the absence of a furor like the one instigated by Mr. Comey, the publication of a recording that showed Mr. Trump boasting about grabbing women’s genitalia could well have been the defining event of the campaign.
The unpublished reports describe violations by both government and opposition forces but most of the accounts blame government troops for instigating attacks and deliberately targeting civilians.
Primavera’s efforts are part of a new citywide nightlife protocol instigated by Barcelona’s City Council and Mayor Ada Colau in February.
Jughead feels responsible for instigating this feud with the Ghoulies back during their drag race that got busted by the cops.
Innes is famous for partially instigating a loud shouting match on radio row at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota.
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
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).