egg on

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  • From Old Norse eggja (to incite), from egg (edge)
  • A variant of the archaic "edge on."

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egg on (third-person singular simple present eggs on, present participle egging on, simple past and past participle egged on)

  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To encourage or coax a person to do something, especially something foolhardy or reckless.
    • 1908, Robert Louis Stevenson, In the South Seas, ch. 25,
      He resented the idea of interference from those who had . . . egged him on to a new peril.
    • 1912, P. G. Wodehouse, The Adventures of Sally, ch. 8,
      She had deliberately egged him on to wreck his prospects.