Etymology
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instigate (v.)

1540s, back-formation from instigation or else from Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare "to urge on, incite" (source also of French instiguer). Related: Instigated; instigates; instigating.

updated on December 13, 2015

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Definitions of instigate from WordNet

instigate (v.)
provoke or stir up;
Synonyms: incite / set off / stir up
instigate (v.)
serve as the inciting cause of;
Synonyms: prompt / inspire
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.