English

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 Originmid 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