provocateur was our Word of the Day on 01/26/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of provocateur in a Sentence
a calculating, right-wing provocateur, she has made a career out of controversy for its own sake
Recent Examples of provocateur from the Web
Tomi Lahren, Texas' latest political provocateur, is at it again with her latest Halloween costumes.
Trudell—a longtime activist—is the film’s resident curmudgeon and provocateur.
The white nationalist and provocateur Richard Spencer had left the University of Florida on Oct. 19 when the day’s most serious trouble erupted just beyond the campus.
Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah are the major patrons of Steve Bannon and the far-right media empire that encompasses Breitbart News and the provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
Justin Bieber is at it again — this time, the 23-year-old pop star provocateur has covered his torso in a massive tattoo.
Conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos sparked protests, too, at the University of California-Berkeley and at UW-Milwaukee, as well as at other campuses.
On Sunday, right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos addressed a crowd at the University of California, Berkeley’s historic Sproul Plaza.
What the company’s leaders seem unable to reckon with is that its troubles are inherent in the design of its flagship social network, which prioritizes thrilling posts and ads over dull ones, and rewards cunning provocateurs over hapless users.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provocateur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
In "provocateur," a word borrowed directly from French, one sees the English verb "provoke." Both "provoke" and "provocateur" derive from Latin provocare, meaning "to call forth." Why do we say "provocateur" for one who incites another to action, instead of simply "provoker"? Perhaps it's because of "agent provocateur," a term of French origin that literally means "provoking agent." Both "agent provocateur" and the shortened "provocateur" can refer to someone (such as an undercover police officer or a political operative) whose job is to incite people to break the law so that they can be arrested, but only "provocateur" is used in English with the more general sense of "one who provokes."
First Known Use of provocateur
Synonymsdemagogue (also demagog), exciter, firebrand, fomenter, incendiary, inciter, instigator, kindler, agitator, rabble-rouser
Related Wordsdemonstrator, marcher, objector, picketer, protester (or protestor); advocate, apostle, backer, booster, champion, exponent, persuader, promoter, proponent, reformer, reformist, supporter; alarmist, extremist, insurgent, insurrectionist, radical, rebel, revolter, revolutionary, revolutionist, subversive, troublemaker; goader, prodder, prompter, provoker; agent provocateur
Near Antonymspeacemaker, reconciler, uniter
Seen and Heard
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