provocative

adjective
pro·​voc·​a·​tive | \ prə-ˈvä-kə-tiv \

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

Makkai turns the question of authentification — are the drawings real or clever forgeries? — into a cliffhanger and raises provocative questions about value. Michael Cunningham, New York Times, "Surviving AIDS, but at What Cost?," 25 June 2018 As Spencer Kornhaber wrote, the decision to give the award to Lamar raises a host of provocative questions. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "'It's an American Art Form': How the Pulitzers Chose Kendrick Lamar," 21 Apr. 2018 But political journalist Walter Shapiro raises a provocative question: Should Trump address the shooting? Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Washington is fundamentally broken when it comes to addressing mass shootings," 15 Feb. 2018 In Martin Zimmerman's play, four actors try to create a play about the 1917 police station bombing, raising provocative questions about justice here. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Rep is developing a play about the police station bombing of 1917," 4 Jan. 2018 The provocative question is a rhetorical weapon in a bizarre war, one that could transform medicine for years. Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek, "The Ugly Civil War in American Medicine," 10 Mar. 2015 And as if the dress couldn't get more provocative, the low-cut wrap design also includes a thigh-high leg slit. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Latest Naked Dress Barely Covers Anything," 18 Dec. 2018 Here, Kate and Laura discuss three of their most important and most provocative collections to be featured in Rodarte. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "In Honor of Rodarte’s First Retrospective, the Designers Remember Their Favorite Collections," 11 Nov. 2018 Most of the time we would be blamed for being provocative in some way. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why Alaska Natives pushed Sen. Lisa Murkowski to say no to Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 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

16 Jan 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 \

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 \

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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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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