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How to pronounce instigate (audio)


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Dictionary definition of instigate

To initiate or start something, typically with the intention of causing a certain action or outcome.
"The two brothers always instigate mischief when they get together."

Detailed meaning of instigate

It often involves encouraging or provoking someone else to take a specific action or behavior. Instigation can be intentional or unintentional, and it can occur in various contexts, including personal, social, or political situations. For example, a person may instigate a conflict between two individuals by spreading rumors or making provocative statements. Alternatively, a leader may instigate a movement for social change by organizing protests or advocating for policy reforms. In both cases, the goal of instigation is to spur action or change in some way.

Example sentences containing instigate

1. She tried to instigate a debate on the controversial topic, but no one took the bait.
2. His provocative remarks were meant to instigate a reaction from the audience.
3. The whistleblower's report may instigate a thorough investigation into the company's practices.
4. The teacher wanted to instigate a love for literature in her students through passionate readings.
5. Their plan was to instigate change by organizing peaceful protests and raising awareness.
6. The new policy is expected to instigate a wave of innovation in the tech industry.

History and etymology of instigate

The verb 'instigate' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'instigare,' which means 'to urge on' or 'to incite.' In Latin, 'instigare' was used to describe the act of prodding or inciting someone to take a particular action. As the term transitioned into Old French and eventually into English, it retained its sense of initiating or starting something, often with the intention of causing a certain action or outcome. 'Instigate' is used to describe the act of spurring or inciting others to initiate a course of action, typically with some level of intention or motivation behind it. The etymology of 'instigate' effectively captures its historical association with the idea of urging or inciting, emphasizing its role as a verb used to describe the act of initiating events or actions, often with a specific purpose or influence in mind.

Quiz: Find the meaning of instigate

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Further usage examples of instigate

1. The detective hoped to instigate a confession from the suspect during questioning.
2. The activist's powerful speech managed to instigate a sense of unity among the crowd.
3. The artist used vibrant colors to instigate emotions and spark creativity in viewers.
4. The chef's innovative recipe could instigate a culinary trend in the restaurant industry.
5. The coach's motivational words were enough to instigate a winning mentality in the team.
6. The students plan to instigate a change in their school's unhealthy lunch policy.
7. They intend to instigate a movement for sustainability.
8. Emily's dog seems to instigate every single dispute with the neighbors' pets.
9. The agitators hope to instigate civil unrest with their speech.
10. To instigate innovation, the company started an incubation program.
11. To instigate a revolution, we must first educate ourselves.
12. The bullies love to instigate trouble in the schoolyard.
13. Secret organizations often instigate major world events from the shadows.
14. We should instigate change where we see it's needed.
15. Rude comments often instigate heated discussions online.
16. The rebels intend to instigate an uprising against the oppressive regime.
17. We should instigate a dialogue about mental health in our community.
18. The union leaders aim to instigate a strike for better wages.
19. The news article may instigate a societal debate on the issue.
20. Conspiracy theories can instigate fear and mistrust.
21. To instigate positive change, we must be patient and persistent.
22. His fiery speech was meant to instigate a call to action.
23. She didn't mean to instigate a fight, she was just expressing her opinion.
24. As a leader, he knew he had to instigate change for the betterment of his team.


provoke, suppress, deter, prevent


Personality and Character Traits, Innovation and Inception, Strategic Planning and Execution, Social Hierarchy and Relationships, Middle School 11, Morality and Influence

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