In·sti·gate v. t. [imp. & p. p. Instigated p. pr. & vb. n. Instigating ] To goad or urge forward; to set on; to provoke; to incite; -- used chiefly with reference to evil actions; as, to instigate one to a crime.
He hath only instigated his blackest agents to the very extent of their malignity. --Bp. Warburton.
Syn: -- To stimulate; urge; spur; provoke; tempt; incite; impel; encourage; animate.
v 1: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; "set off great unrest
among the people" [syn: incite, set off, stir up]
2: serve as the inciting cause of; "She prompted me to call my
relatives" [syn: prompt, inspire]