follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

instigate

[in-sti-geyt] /ˈɪn stɪˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), instigated, instigating.
1.
to cause by incitement; foment:
to instigate a quarrel.
2.
to urge, provoke, or incite to some action or course:
to instigate the people to revolt.
Origin
1535-1545
1535-45; < Latin instīgātus past participle of instīgāre to goad on, impel, equivalent to in- in-2 + -stīg- goad, prick (akin to stigma, stick2) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
instigatingly, adverb
instigative, adjective
instigator, instigant
[in-sti-guh nt] /ˈɪn stɪ gənt/ (Show IPA),
noun
uninstigated, adjective
uninstigative, adjective
Synonyms
1. arouse, provoke. 2. induce, stimulate, encourage, push; initiate, start.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for instigator
  • The recession has been the main instigator of the crash, but overbuilding and speculation set the stage.
  • The instigator of the work, and his admirers, could perceive in them nothing but what was ridiculous.
  • Last week's suggestion to eliminate the instigator penalty drew a ton of e-mail feedback.
  • He was a heroic truth-teller to some, a loudmouth instigator to others.
  • Ambition, considered the instigator of all human effort, is the subject of the ceiling painting.
British Dictionary definitions for instigator

instigate

/ˈɪnstɪˌɡeɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to bring about, as by incitement or urging to instigate rebellion
2.
to urge on to some drastic or inadvisable action
Derived Forms
instigatingly, adverb
instigation, noun
instigative, adjective
instigator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin instīgāre to stimulate, incite; compare Greek stizein to prick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for instigator
instigate
1540s, from L. instigat-, pp. stem of instigare (see instigation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for instigate

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for instigator

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with instigator