provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ˌprä-və-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of provocation 

1 : the act of provoking : incitement

2 : something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But that could change with provocations from hostile Republican legislators, two of whom have introduced legislation imposing sanctions and even jail time for teachers who strike or try to organize a strike. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Teacher Protests Spread to Colorado As Arizona Strike Begins," 26 Apr. 2018 Cautious Optimism China has claimed credit for the shift toward dialogue, saying that both the U.S. and North Korea had effectively adhered to its call for a dual suspension of provocations to reduce tensions. Bloomberg.com, "China's Goal in Trump-Kim Talks: Ensure They Don't Collapse," 11 Mar. 2018 In many cases, ignoring a troll can carry just as dear a price as provocation. Film Crit Hulk, The Verge, "Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies," 12 July 2018 Kanye West is an artist who rose to fame thanks to escalating displays of provocation and gross narcissism coupled with consistently brilliant and commercially successful music. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Kanye West Is Giving His Most Radical Performance Yet," 1 May 2018 The Mercer family, among the biggest donors to the Republican Party, amply subsidized his provocations. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Milo Yiannopoulos wants “vigilante squads” to start shooting journalists.," 26 June 2018 From the time of its first trade provocations until now, capricious behavior has become the norm from America. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "China’s Official News Media Sharply Criticize Trump," 16 June 2018 Perhaps in the 1990s her provocations could be read as ferocious ownership of a persona (see: grabbing her crotch and spitting on the ground after boos answered her butchering of the national anthem before a baseball game). Karl Vick, Time, "Roseanne Barr Meets the New World," 31 May 2018 Trump has said the US military is ready to respond to any provocations from North Korea. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Vox Sentences: The North Korea summit that wasn’t," 25 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about provocation

Share provocation

Dictionary Entries near provocation

provn

Provo

provocateur

provocation

provocative

provocatory

provoke

Statistics for provocation

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for provocation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of provocation 

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

Keep scrolling for more

provocation

noun
prov·​o·​ca·​tion | \ˌprä-və-ˈkā-shən \

Legal Definition of provocation 

1 : the act of provoking

2 : something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on provocation

What made you want to look up provocation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!