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

Dozing off to late-night TV or sleeping with other lights on may mix up your metabolism and lead to weight gain and even obesity, provocative but preliminary U.S. research suggests. NBC News, "Sleeping with the TV on may lead to weight gain, study suggests," 10 June 2019 Trump then, in Al Czervik style, sees no reason not to point out these obvious contradictions between Merkel’s soaring humanitarian rhetoric and Berlin’s often quite selfish and provocative commercial, political, and financial policies. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Is Germany Becoming Germany — Again?," 4 June 2019 Dersso’s captivating and provocative work is largely defined by two subjects. Vogue, "Eden Dersso Is the Changing Face of Tel Aviv’s Hip-Hop Scene," 2 Apr. 2019 But Lightman’s aim in this insightful and provocative musing is to remind us of the centrality of subjectivity in all human endeavors, including those of science. Michael Shermer, New York Times, "Must Science Conflict With Spirituality?," 25 June 2018 The challenge for a show that’s basically left hope behind—and, for the moment, become a vastly more powerful and provocative statement for it—is finding a way out of the darkness. Daniel D'addario, Time, "Best TV Shows of 2018 So Far," 30 May 2018 Sky Seals as Cash, a star about to jump ship from Sun to Columbia Records; and live-wire Dominique Scott, who won the Carbonell Award for his earlier performance as the cocky and provocative Lewis. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "'Million Dollar Quartet:' Whole lotta great music-makin' going on | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 In fact, Pontiac, Michigan's pride and joy has been confrontational and provocative with the Church from the jump. refinery29.com, "Madonna & The Catholic Church: A Love-Hate Style History," 5 May 2018 The pages of the satirical magazine regularly offer a Rorschach test on where the country stands on the limits of political and provocative expression. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Is Germany’s bold new law a way to clean up the internet or is it stifling free expression?," 8 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near provocative

Provo

provocateur

provocation

provocative

provocatory

provoke

provoking

Statistics for provocative

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for provocative

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

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More Definitions for provocative

provocative

adjective

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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