oxford views updated May 21 2018
in·sti·gate / ˈinstiˌgāt/ •
v. [tr.] bring about or initiate (an action or event): they instigated a reign of terror instigating legal proceedings. ∎ (instigate someone to do something) incite someone to do something, esp. something bad: instigating men to refuse allegiance to the civil powers. See notes at encourage, incite.DERIVATIVES: in·sti·ga·tor / -ˌgātər/ n.
oxford views updated May 18 2018
spur or urge on. XVI. f. pp. stem of L. instīgāre
, f. IN-1
prick, incite; see -ATE3
XV. — F. or L.
gale views updated May 17 2018
To incite, stimulate, or induce into action; goad into an unlawful or bad action, such as a crime.
The term instigate is used synonymously with abet, which is the intentional encouragement or aid of another individual in committing a crime.