Simple Definition of agent provocateur
: a person employed to encourage people to break the law so that they can be arrested
Full Definition of agent provocateur
plural agents provocateurs \ˈä-ˌzhäⁿ-prō-ˌvä-kə-ˈtər, ˈā-jən(t)s-prō-\
: 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
The government used agents provocateurs to try to undermine the opposition party.
Origin of agent provocateur
French, literally, provoking agent
First Known Use: 1877
Learn More about agent provocateur
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about "agent provocateur"
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up agent provocateur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).