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

Her life in the arts has always flirted with provocation, even if inadvertently: As a teenager, Yao was a founding member of the riot grrrl group Emily’s Sassy Lime, which toured the United States from 1993 to 1997. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019 Although a provocation, the use of deadly force by the Soviets was not unknown. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Swedish Pilots Win Medals for Top Secret 1987 SR-71 Incident," 29 Nov. 2018 Wilson, a black 18-year-old, was murdered last weekend at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Oakland, California, after a man suddenly approached her and, with seemingly no provocation, stabbed her in the neck. German Lopez, Vox, "Anne Hathaway’s thoughts on Nia Wilson’s murder are really worth reading," 26 July 2018 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

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

7 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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