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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

While some might think the Mademe x Aya Brown collab features images that are provocative or unique, in reality, Aya’s art is beautifully mundane. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Fashion Brand MadeMe Collaborated With Artist Aya Brown on Products That Showcase the Queer Black Female Experience," 21 June 2019 Regional theater is new, exciting, provocative and makes people talk. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "Beyond the Tony Awards and Broadway: Here are 10 great places to see a play," 7 June 2019 Pithy and provocative, the proclamations have garnered worldwide attention in recent months as photos of the pastor standing next to the sign have repeatedly gone viral. oregonlive.com, "Oregon pastor slams white supremacy, embraces Lady Gaga and finds followers worldwide," 30 June 2019 This past Monday, CJ South, curator of Creative Jenius Report put together an event to highlight culture’s most provocative thought leaders, cultural influencers and collaborators. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Cardi B's Stylist Talks Most Iconic Looks And New Art Exhibit," 27 June 2019 Finally, there’s the issue that may be the least immediate and most provocative: populating a faraway planet. National Geographic, "Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight," 17 June 2019 What have been the biggest or most provocative questions for you since then? Quanta Magazine, "A Mathematician Whose Only Constant Is Change," 16 June 2019 Spears has never seemed to fully jive with the idea of fame: as a girl from McComb, Mississippi, who went on to become one of the globe’s biggest and most provocative pop stars, her dual personalities have long seemed at odds with each other. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "What Exactly Is Going on With Britney Spears?," 15 May 2019 In a digital age when anyone with a phone camera can become a self-portraitist with a tap of a finger, perhaps the most provocative statement an artist can make is to turn their attention to a figurative medium dating back to ancient times. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "These New Cameos From Cindy Sherman, Catherine Opie Are Worth the Flight to Venice," 8 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of provocative

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about provocative

Dictionary Entries near provocative

Provo

provocateur

provocation

provocative

provocatory

provoke

provoking

Statistics for provocative

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for provocative

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on provocative

What made you want to look up provocative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!