provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌprä-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce provocation (audio) \

Definition of provocation

1 : the act of provoking : incitement
2 : something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates

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Examples of provocation in a Sentence

He can turn violent at the least provocation. Her calmness in the face of repeated provocations impressed her friends. With hardly any provocation, the crowd began to chant.
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Recent Examples on the Web There was no panic in his voice, and barely any provocation. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Even amid the coronavirus crisis, Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra remains calm," 8 July 2020 That site, like Tulsa, had been a provocation: an urban college campus with a large minority population. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Workers at Trump’s Tulsa rally test positive for COVID-19, as campaign reboot promises cheers, clashes and contagion," 20 June 2020 Some outside analysts predicted North Korea would resort to provocation to wrest outside concessions because its economy has likely worsened under the persistent U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News, "North Korea: Redeploying troops, resuming military exercises at inter-Korean cooperation sites," 17 June 2020 Some outside analysts predicted North Korea would resort to provocation to wrest outside concessions because its economy has likely worsened under the persistent U.S.-led sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. Washington Post, "N Korea’s military to reenter inter-Korea cooperation sites," 17 June 2020 The move represented North Korea’s most serious provocation in years and follows an escalating series of threats against South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s government. Fortune, "North Korea blows up liaison office with South Korea in most serious provocation in years," 16 June 2020 There were complaints that some officers fired without provocation. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio police shouldn’t have to handle every social ill, top city officials say," 12 June 2020 Some free-speech stalwarts saw this as a delightful provocation, just one more contribution to the marketplace of ideas. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Tom Cotton Op-Ed and the Tired Old “Snowflake” Defense," 10 June 2020 Some experts say North Korea may be deliberately creating tensions to bolster internal unity or launch a bigger provocation in the face of persistent U.S.-led sanctions. Time, "North Korea Says It Is Cutting Communication Ties With the South Over Anti-Kim Leaflets," 9 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provocation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of provocation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for provocation

Middle English provocacioun, from Anglo-French provocacion, from Latin provocation-, provocatio, from provocare

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Time Traveler for provocation

Time Traveler

The first known use of provocation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for provocation

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Provocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provocation. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for provocation

provocation

noun
How to pronounce provocation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of provocation

: an action or occurrence that causes someone to become angry or to begin to do something

provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌprä-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce provocation (audio) \

Kids Definition of provocation

: something that causes anger or action The dog will attack at the slightest provocation.

provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌpräv-ə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce provocation (audio) \

Medical Definition of provocation

: the act or process of provoking a nonspecific irritant that brings about provocation of bronchial asthma

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provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌprä-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce provocation (audio) \

Legal Definition of provocation

1 : the act of provoking
2 : something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates

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Comments on provocation

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