Definition of instigate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    instigate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪt//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they instigate
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪt//
     
    he / she / it instigates
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪts//
     
    past simple instigated
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪd//
     
    past participle instigated
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form instigating
    BrE BrE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstɪɡeɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1instigate something (especially British English) to make something start or happen, usually something official synonym bring somethingabout The government has instigated a programme of economic reform.
  2. 2instigate something to cause something bad to happen They were accused of instigating racial violence.
  3. Word Origin mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘urge on’): from Latin instigat- ‘urged, incited’, from the verb instigare, from in- ‘towards’ + stigare ‘prick, incite’.Extra examples The man responsible for instigating change was Robin Darwin. Those found guilty of instigating the unrest will be punished. We will instigate a comprehensive review of defence policy.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: instigate