incite, instigate, abet, foment are comparable when they mean to spur on to action or to excite into activity.
Incite stresses stirring up and urging on; frequently it implies active prompting

the riot was incited by paid agitators


it was just like Lady Pinkerton ... to have gone round to Hobart inciting him to drag Jane from my office— Rose Macaulay

Instigate, in contrast with incite, unequivocally implies prompting and responsibility for the initiation of the action; it also commonly connotes underhand- edness and evil intention; thus, one may be incited but not instigated to the performance of a good act; one may be incited or instigated to the commission of a crime

the early persecutions were . . . instigated ... by the government as a safety valve for popular discontent— Inge


his peculiar tastes had instigated him to boldness in some directions— Edmund Wilson

Abet tends to lose its original implication of baiting or hounding on and to emphasize its acquired implications of seconding, supporting, and encouraging

unthinkingly, I have laid myself open to the charge of aiding and abetting the seal cutter in obtaining money under false pretenses— Kipling


Mr. Howells . . . seconded him as often as not in these innocuous, infantile ventures, abetting him in the production of . . . plays of an abysmal foolishness— Brooks

Foment stresses persistence in goading; thus, one who incites rebellion may provide only the initial stimulus; one who foments rebellion keeps the rebellious spirit alive by supplying fresh incitements

the apparent moral certainties of the mid-thirties —such as the notion that wars are fomented by munitions makers— F. L. Allen

Analogous words: stimulate, excite, *provoke, pique, galvanize: arouse, rouse, *stir
Antonyms: restrain
Contrasted words: curb, check, inhibit (see RESTRAIN): *frustrate, thwart, foil, circumvent, baffle, balk, outwit

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • InCite — InCité Bordeaux InCité Bordeaux est une Société d économie mixte (SEM) dont les actionnaires principaux sont la ville de Bordeaux, la Communauté urbaine de Bordeaux (CUB), la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, la Caisse d épargne et la Chambre… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • incite — in·cite /in sīt/ vt in·cit·ed, in·cit·ing: to urge on incite a riot in·cite·ment n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Incite — In*cite , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Incited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Inciting}.] [L. incitare; pref. in in + citare to rouse, stir up: cf. F. inciter. See {Cite}.] To move to action; to stir up; to rouse; to spur or urge on. [1913 Webster] Anthiochus, when… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • incité — incité, ée (in si té, tée) part. passé d inciter. Poussé à. •   L étude du grec fleurit en ce pays là [l Angleterre] extraordinairement ; les Allemands, incités par cet exemple, s attachent beaucoup à cette langue, BAYLE Lett. à M***, 31 mars… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • incite — [in sīt′] vt. incited, inciting [ME inciten < OFr inciter < L incitare < in , in, on + citare, to set in motion, urge: see CITE] to urge to action; stir up; rouse incitement n. incitation [in΄sə tā′shən, in΄sītā′shən] inciter n. SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • Incite — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Thrash Metal Gründung 2004 Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • incite — (v.) mid 15c., from M.Fr. enciter (14c.), from L. incitare to put into rapid motion, figuratively rouse, urge, encourage, stimulate, from in into, in, on, upon (see IN (Cf. in ) (2)) + citare move, excite (see CITE (Cf. cite)). Related: Incited; …   Etymology dictionary

  • incite — [v] encourage, provoke abet, activate, actuate, agitate, animate, arouse, coax, craze, drive, egg on*, encourage, excite, exhort, fan the fire*, foment, force, forward, further, get to*, goad, impel, induce, inflame, influence, inspire, inspirit …   New thesaurus

  • incité — Incité, [incit]ée. part …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • incite — ► VERB 1) encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behaviour). 2) urge or persuade to act in a violent or unlawful way. DERIVATIVES incitement noun inciter noun. ORIGIN Latin incitare, from citare rouse …   English terms dictionary

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