from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To urge on; goad.
- transitive v. To stir up; foment.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To goad or urge forward; to set on; to provoke; to incite.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To goad or urge forward; to set on; to provoke; to incite; -- used chiefly with reference to evil actions.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To stimulate to an action or course; incite to do something; set or goad on; urge: generally in a bad sense: as, to instigate one to commit a crime.
- To stir up; foment; bring about by incitement or persuasion: as, to instigate crime or insurrection; to instigate a quarrel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. serve as the inciting cause of
- v. provoke or stir up
Latin īnstīgāre, īnstīgāt-; see steig- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin instigatus, past participle of instigare ("to instigate"), from prefix in- in + *stigare, akin to stinguere ("push, goad"). Akin to German stechen ("to prick"), English stick. (Wiktionary)