English Dictionary

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instigate (ˈɪnstɪˌɡeɪt Pronunciation for instigate


verb (transitive)

  1. to bring about, as by incitement or urging   ⇒ to instigate rebellion
  2. to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action

Derived Forms

ˈinstiˌgatingly adverb
ˌinstiˈgation noun
ˈinstiˌgative adjective
ˈinstiˌgator noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin instīgāre to stimulate, incite; compare Greek stizein to prick

Translations for 'instigate'

  • British English: instigate Someone who instigates an event causes it to happen. VERBHe did not instigate the coup or even know of it beforehand.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: instigar
  • Chinese: 发起发發起
  • European Spanish: instigar
  • French: être l'instigateur de
  • German: anstiften
  • Italian: promuovere
  • Japanese: 扇動する
  • Korean: ~하게 하다
  • Portuguese: instigar
  • Spanish: instigar

Example Sentences Including 'instigate'

A spokesman for the Royal said: "An incident team has been formed to investigate the possible source and instigate preventative action.
Liverpool Daily Post and Echo (2003)
But few children's writers can claim to instigate a reaction from the Federal Government.
The Mercury, Sunday Tasmanian (2004)
He also says the BBC should instigate changes to its editorial guidelines.
Spiked (2004)
It is the kind of joint development ideal for us both and a model for the sort of project we must instigate.
Malcolm, John The Gwen John Sculpture
What is happening now is what these teachers tried to instigate in the first place.
The Advertiser, Sunday Mail (2004)
Whilst other people can give encouragement, it is down to ourselves to instigate the necessary changes.
Whiteside, Dr Mike Banish Headaches -how to obtain fast, drug-free relief from headache


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