• WordNet 3.6
    • v instigate serve as the inciting cause of "She prompted me to call my relatives"
    • v instigate provoke or stir up "incite a riot","set off great unrest among the people"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. t Instigate To goad or urge forward; to set on; to provoke; to incite; -- used chiefly with reference to evil actions; as, to instigate one to a crime. "He hath only instigated his blackest agents to the very extent of their malignity."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • instigate To stimulate to an action or course; incite to do something; set or goad on; urge: generally in a bad sense: as, to instigate one to commit a crime.
    • instigate To stir up; foment; bring about by incitement or persuasion: as, to instigate crime or insurrection; to instigate a quarrel. Synonyms Impel, Induce, etc. (see actuate); tempt, prevail upon. See list under incite.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Instigate in′sti-gāt to urge on: to set on: to foment
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. instigatus, p. p. of instigare, to instigate; pref. in-, in + a root akin to G. stechen, to prick, E. stick,. See Stick
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. instigāre, -ātum.


In literature:

At the instigation of Richelieu, Concini, and Barbin, Marie de Medicis imperiously refused to revoke, the sentence.
"The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 2 (of 3)" by Julia Pardoe
This he did partly instigated by his own feelings, and partly in compliance with his wife's wishes.
"John Caldigate" by Anthony Trollope
I am an instigator of degrading immorality and unmentionable crimes.
"The Eyes of the World" by Harold Bell Wright
The people crowded first on one side, and then on the other, as their fears instigated them.
"The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 20, Issue 563, August 25, 1832" by Various
Was the Count of Toulouse, too, guilty of having instigated the shedding of blood and the murder of a prelate?
"A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume II. of VI." by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
Before long, at his instigation, the mob collected about the prison, uttering imprecations against the judges and their clemency.
"A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume V. of VI." by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
The Instigations of the Spring are now abated.
"The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3" by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
No anti-slavery meetings could be held uninterrupted by the worst elements of rowdyism, instigated by men in high position.
"The Grimké Sisters" by Catherine H. Birney
At the instigation of this Pompeo I was deprived of my place in the mint.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
This gentleman and his whole ship's company had been cut off at the instigation of Ort-Vantyle, a Dutchman of New-York.
"The Pirates Own Book" by Charles Ellms

In poetry:

The British dash at Delhi will never be forgot,
For the chief instigators of the mutiny were shot;
And their bodies in the Mayor's Court were hung,
And as the people gazed thereon, their hearts with anguish were wrung.
"The Downfall of Delhi" by William Topaz McGonagall

In news:

35-year-old Lue Chang is charged with Instigation of Animal Fights for allegedly staging cockfights in the basement of his home on Saemann Avenue.
Instigated by Anne Bray of
Richmond gang rape instigator gets 32 years in prison.
Union City police charge man, 22, in stabbing of trash-throwing ' instigator '.
West a professional instigator , not someone to seek solutions in Congress.
'Teletubbies' instigator tries hand at kids' movie.
Teletubbies' instigator Kenn Viselman tries hand at kids' movie 'Oogieloves'.
Instigator of monkey torture photos fired from military.
Wick-it the Instigator is known for his fresh remixes and mashups.
John Tortorella wants the instigator rule removed from the book as it currently stands.
Recalling the Life of an Instigator of Fun.
Ahead of the funeral Sunday of Ethiopian strongman Meles Zenawi, many Ethiopians are proudly assessing his abilities and the changes instigated.
The instigator of one of the series' most-shocking moments describes the mad genius of showrunner Vince Gilligan: "He's both Frankenstein and Einstein.".
Phony humanitarians seek to instigate violence with Israel.
Obama, instigator v. Final debate winners and losers.

In science:

Their 2D (and 3D; Mezzacappa et al. 2002) calculations revealed hydrodynamical instabilities in the accretion flow behind the stalled shock, which instigate large-scale modes even in the absence of neutrino heating.
Explosion Mechanisms of Massive Stars
Gravitational interactions between galaxies can instigate star formation and transform disks into spheroids (Toomre & Toomre 1972) and may dominate galaxy evolution at early epochs especially in dense environments (Frenk et al. 1985).
Forming Disk Galaxies in Lambda CDM Simulations
This meeting was instigated by the untimely death of our friend and collegue Rich Pelz.
Computational Euler History
Both of these goals were recently achieved by a large online collaboration, instigated by Tim Gowers and involving several other mathematicians, called Polymath1.
Multiple recurrence and the structure of probability-preserving systems
CARA instigated research programs into C MBR anisotropy, sub-millimetre and infrared astronomy, as well as initiating a site testing program.
Astronomy in Antarctica