- 1 instigate something to cause something bad to happen They were accused of instigating racial violence.
- 2 instigate something to make something start or happen, usually something official The government has instigated a program of economic reform.
NAmE//ˈɪnstəˌɡeɪt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they instigate
he / she / it instigates
past simple instigated
-ing form instigating