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

Whatever the provocation, Chasten's response is on point and graceful. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Pete Buttigieg's Husband Chasten Shared an Empowering Coming Out Message," 3 Apr. 2019 Blackjack bombers flying within 12 nautical miles of North America would be an extremely serious provocation. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "No, Russian Bombers Did Not Enter U.S. Airspace," 28 Jan. 2019 In the bigger picture, Trump's provocations are gauged to elicit a reaction, others said - and Trudeau's response, far from off-the-cuff snarkiness, is also carefully planned. Author: Selena Ross, Anchorage Daily News, "Trudeau takes his turn as Trump's principal antagonist, and Canadians rally around him," 10 June 2018 In the past, President Nicolás Maduro has slammed Exxon’s offshore oil operations in Guyana as a provocation. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuela-Guyana Feud Halts Exxon Project," 24 Dec. 2018 With tensions once again on the rise, a parade featuring the very missiles that so unnerved Trump last year, and led to a dangerous volley of insults from both leaders, could be seen as a deliberate provocation. Eric Talmadge, Fox News, "N. Korea stages huge parade, holds back on advanced missiles," 9 Sep. 2018 The command rings hollow as a packaging slogan, but Smith lays it out there as a pointed provocation, part of the show's larger assertion that acts of nurture and nationhood, art and humanity are profoundly linked. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "In Shinique Smith's 'Refuge,' bits of past make for a compelling present," 3 July 2018 China no doubt sees the building’s 99-year lease as yet another provocation. The Economist, "China fights Taiwan on airline websites," 14 June 2018 And his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was seen by many critics as an unnecessary provocation in the Muslim world. Time, "President Trump Hosts His First Iftar Dinner at the White House," 8 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near provocation

provn

Provo

provocateur

provocation

provocative

provocatory

provoke

Statistics for provocation

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for provocation

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

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More Definitions for provocation

provocation

noun

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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