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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 classic literature ?
It was they who had instigated the mutiny that they might seize and divide the catch of pearls which constituted the wealth of the Cowrie's cargo.
Both you and your daughter could only have interpreted any such action on my part as instigated by self-interest, for you both knew that I wanted to make her my wife," replied the other.
Those murders were instigated, if they were not committed, by the Prince.
The women present all exchanged expressive glances; the rivalry between the minister and his secretary amused them and instigated one of those pretty little comedies which Parisian women play so well.
From his book, entitled "The Battles of Labor," is quoted the declaration that "in some of the great historic strikes the employers themselves have instigated acts of violence;" that manufacturers have deliberately provoked strikes in order to get rid of surplus stock; and that freight cars have been burned by employers' agents during railroad strikes in order to increase disorder.
It was believed that the perpetrators were instigated to this act by some indiscreet laws issued by her majesty.
And if any one asserts that the violation of oaths and treaties, which was really the work of Pandarus, was brought about by Athene and Zeus, or that the strife and contention of the gods was instigated by Themis and Zeus, he shall not have our approval; neither will we allow our young men to hear the words of Aeschylus, that
If the Indians say I instigated people, let there be an international probe.
Police determined 13 suspects who instigated people to use violence and damage properties while monitoring MOBESE cams which recorded the protests.
Jaguar Energy Guatemala (JEG), has instigated arbitration with China Machine New Energy Corp.
These three US presidents have instigated aACAo with full knowledge of the consequences aACAo 17 years of the most ghastly crimes imaginable in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ajit Singh appealed to the people to maintain calm and not to get instigated by the rumours that are being spread by nefarious elements, and continue the age-old tradition living in peace and harmony.