V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to provoke, incite, or start something

Synonyms: generate, induce, prompt, influence, prod, provoke, incite, start

Antonyms: prevent, thwart, discourage

Tips: Instigate is derived from the Latin instigare, which means "urge on, incite." To instigate something means to urge it on or to incite some sort of action. Instigation is the act of urging on. An instigator is the person who instigates. Instigate is usually (but not always) a negative word used to describe a sinister action intended to provoke or generate a negative outcome. Instigate can also be a positive word when used to describe an attempt to create positive change in behavior or policy.

Usage Examples:

He admitted to instigating the fight. (provoking, starting)

The rebels tried to instigate a riot, but their plans were thwarted by the police. (induce, provoke)

Jay tried to instigate a more formal dress code in his office, but no one followed his lead. (influence, induce)

The hospital instigated wellness programs meant to help people improve their health. (generated, started)

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