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
At the same time though, Damore’s style was too affectless to suggest a provocateur or conspiracy theorist.
A champion of economic nationalism and a political provocateur, Bannon, 63, is a former U.S. Navy officer, Goldman Sachs investment banker and Hollywood movie producer.
Later in the spring, antifa protesters in Berkeley, Calif., opposed a speech by right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos by breaking windows and starting fires, causing more than $100,000 of property damage.
The University of Florida said white provocateur Richard Spencer, whose appearances sometimes stoke unrest, is seeking permission to speak there next month.
First, while Yiannopoulos' participation in the lawsuit has gotten the most attention, the ACLU isn't only defending the rights of right-wing provocateurs like Yiannopoulos and Geller.
Another OG provocateur, Stephen Jones, talking with journalist Alexander Fury, recalled his life through his most memorable hats, such as an English Breakfast–festooned beret and a Ms. Pac-Man helmet created for a 2008 Giles show.
Prosecutors say the account shows Sarah Hassan was a victim of a scam orchestrated by the impish former pharmaceutical CEO and social media provocateur, even though Hassan ultimately recouped the money in a settlement that included a stock windfall.
He’s been called a provocateur in a New York Times article, which outlined his arrest in 2010 on a felony charge of breaking into break-in at Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) New Orleans office.
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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