Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.


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.


verb abet, actuate, agitate, coax, encourage, enflame, enkindle, excite, fire, fire up, foment, generate, goad, impel, incite, induce, inflame, initiate, inspire, inspirit, invigorate, lure, motivate, move, persuade, prevail upon, prod, prompt, provoke, push, spur, start, stimulate, stir up, thrust, urge
Associated concepts: code of conduct for law enforcement officials, entrapment
See also: abet, activate, agitate, bait, evoke, exhort, foment, goad, harass, impel, incite, induce, inspire, lobby, motivate, pique, press, prompt, provoke, spirit, stimulate, suborn, urge
References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 1999, Instigate helps small and medium businesses (SMBs) maximize their staffing and recruiting resources.
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India] July 4 ( ANI ): The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi and his brother and party chief Asaduddin Owaisi have been making poisonous statements to instigate the Muslim community, adding that the government needs to take its cognizance.
BEIRUT: Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah warned Thursday against attempts to instigate sectarian strife, urging Lebanese not to jump to conclusions before investigations into security incidents are concluded.
it could instigate convection in the Japan Sea, argues Doron Nof, an oceanographer at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
A high-profile shooting incident in 1993 helped instigate the litany of lawsuits against firearm manufacturers by sundry cities, counties, and states.
BDI requested of the public prosecution office to instigate an investigation for the ethnic Albanians that went missing during the 2001 conflict, because, according to them, these cases have elements of war crime such as the cases for which the Hague Court will instigate an investigation.
Nazir had developed a modus operandi for carrying out timber smuggling in which he used to instigate stone-pelting on police by funding some of his associates.
Jasari stated that the courts in Macedonia cannot handle cases, for which the Hague Court due to lack of facts, decided not to instigate a court procedure and every attempt to bypass the Law on Amnesty will cause bad consequences for the legal security of Macedonian citizens.
Once bound together, the two proteins instigate a chain of events called apoptosis that leads to the cell's orderly breakup.