agent provocateur


agent pro·vo·ca·teur

noun \ˈä-ˌzhäⁿ-prō-ˌvä-kə-ˈtər, ˈā-jənt-\

: a person employed to encourage people to break the law so that they can be arrested

plural agents provocateurs \ˈä-ˌzhäⁿ-prō-ˌvä-kə-ˈtər, ˈā-jən(t)s-prō-\

Full Definition of AGENT PROVOCATEUR

:  one employed to associate with suspected persons and by pretending sympathy with their aims to incite them to some incriminating action

Examples of AGENT PROVOCATEUR

  1. The government used agents provocateurs to try to undermine the opposition party.

Origin of AGENT PROVOCATEUR

French, literally, provoking agent
First Known Use: 1877

Other Government and Politics Terms

agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

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