verb pro·voke \prə-ˈvōk\

: to cause the occurrence of (a feeling or action) : to make (something) happen

: to cause (a person or animal) to become angry, violent, etc.


Full Definition of PROVOKE

transitive verb
a archaic :  to arouse to a feeling or action
b :  to incite to anger
a :  to call forth (as a feeling or action) :  evoke <provoke laughter>
b :  to stir up purposely <provoke a fight>
c :  to provide the needed stimulus for <will provoke a lot of discussion>
pro·vok·er noun

Examples of PROVOKE

  1. His remarks provoked both tears and laughter.
  2. He just says those things because he's trying to provoke you.
  3. The animal will not attack unless it is provoked.

Origin of PROVOKE

Middle English, from Anglo-French *provoker, provocher, from Latin provocare, from pro- forth + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at pro-, voice
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of PROVOKE

provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken mean to arouse as if by pricking. provoke directs attention to the response called forth <my stories usually provoke laughter>. excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly <news that excited anger and frustration>. stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference <stimulating conversation>. pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge <that remark piqued my interest>. quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively <the high salary quickened her desire to have the job>.
synonyms see in addition irritate


transitive verb pro·voke \prə-ˈvōk\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PROVOKE

:  to induce (a physical reaction) <ipecac provokes vomiting>


Next Word in the Dictionary: provokingPrevious Word in the Dictionary: provocatoryAll Words Near: provoke
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