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

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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

But on the whole these teenagers were calm amid the provocations and far less incendiary than the adults who taunted them and the progressive high priests who denounced them. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The High School Deplorables," 22 Jan. 2019 Perhaps the only way out of this mess is for the stakes to be raised, for Democrats to respond to Republican provocations and an increasingly tilted playing field by striking back and pushing the system to a breaking point. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The rigging of American politics," 16 Oct. 2018 The film revisits their early days of excess, provocation, and the exhilaration of rebelling against the status quo. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Punk rocking on both sides of the pond in ‘Boys From Nowhere’ and ‘Here to Be Heard’," 17 May 2018 Kim was clearly signaling he's not done yet with the classic North Korean strategy of provocations and demands. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump's Korea hopes thrown into turmoil," 16 May 2018 That move might have been a sly provocation: Until Chanel co-opted it, the camellia was more commonly worn as a man’s boutonniere. Vogue, "Chanel’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates the Camellia—Coco’s Signature Fleur," 17 Jan. 2019 Woolf’s language is a provocation to group meditation. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "SITI Company and Ann Hamilton set sail for Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse'," 30 Apr. 2018 Williamson’s case, however, presents different questions: What is the line between provocation and genuine extremism? Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Conservative Columnist Conundrum," 27 Mar. 2018 The latest Russian provocations show how urgent this effort is. Richard A. Grenell, WSJ, "Germans, Take a Stand Against Nord Stream 2," 16 Dec. 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

12 Feb 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 \

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

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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

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excited commotion or publicity

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