provocative

adjective
pro·​voc·​a·​tive | \ prə-ˈvä-kə-tiv How to pronounce provocative (audio) \

Definition of provocative

: serving or tending to provoke, excite, or stimulate a provocative question

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Other Words from provocative

provocative noun
provocatively adverb
provocativeness noun

Examples of provocative in a Sentence

a thoughtful and provocative book It was one of his more provocative suggestions. She was wearing a very provocative outfit.
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Recent Examples on the Web The directorial debut of Emerald Fennell, who recently wrote the second season of Killing Eve, has a provocative premise. David Sims, The Atlantic, "25 Movies to Look Forward to in 2020," 7 Jan. 2020 In this smart and provocative news analysis, reporter Nellie Bowles examines that phenomenon — as well as its flip side. Stat Staff, STAT, "We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2019," 24 Dec. 2019 Known for his unique style of figure drawing — a touch exaggerated, endearing and provocative — Peter has pulled inspiration from his days in carpentry and gardening, which prompted plants to enter his art. NBC News, "12 queer artists whose work is making us pay attention," 13 Dec. 2019 Much more intense and provocative was the time Cattelan taped his own dealer, the Italian Massimo de Carlo, to the wall of his gallery. Sebastian Smee, chicagotribune.com, "Commentary: Is it bananas? Sure. Worth $120k? Why not?," 10 Dec. 2019 Edna Lewis wrote 30 years ago, in a simple but proud, provocative yet entirely accurate pronouncement. Rien Fertel, WSJ, "Book Review: A Place at the Table," 24 May 2019 The main arc of the season follows 2 Live Crew, a boundary-pushing group whose provocative lyrics prompted numerous legal challenges—including one that eventually landed in front of the Supreme Court. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 Known for his controversial and provocative opinions, Imus first appeared on radio in 1968 before joining WNBC in 1971, according to Radio Insight. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Don Imus, radio shock jock, dies at 79," 27 Dec. 2019 Getting to choose 19 more that shine a light on the year’s most important and provocative stories. National Geographic, "The best unpublished photos of 2019," 19 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provocative.' 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 provocative

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for provocative

Time Traveler

The first known use of provocative was in the 15th century

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Statistics for provocative

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Provocative.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provocative. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for provocative

provocative

adjective
How to pronounce provocative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of provocative

: causing discussion, thought, argument, etc.
: causing sexual feelings or excitement

provocative

adjective
pro·​voc·​a·​tive | \ prə-ˈvä-kə-tiv How to pronounce provocative (audio) \

Kids Definition of provocative

: serving or likely to cause a reaction (as interest, curiosity, or anger) a provocative statement

Other Words from provocative

provocatively adverb

provocative

adjective
pro·​voc·​a·​tive | \ prə-ˈväk-ət-iv How to pronounce provocative (audio) \

Medical Definition of provocative

: serving or tending to provoke, excite, or stimulate provocative test for coronary spasmJournal of the American Medical Association

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Comments on provocative

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