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

Donald Trump says many things to be provocative that never happen, and maybe his threat to unleash asylum-seeking immigrants to sanctuary cities is another example. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Sanctuary City Illogic," 14 Apr. 2019 The provocative photo itself shows Martin in the bathroom fully naked with only a towel covering the parts too risqué for social media. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Ricky Martin Posts Steamy Naked Instagram Photo," 5 Jan. 2018 In that light, the undies are provocative by virtue of their unabashedly unsexy proportions. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Are You Ready for the Return of Tighty-Whities? Gucci Sure Is," 25 Sep. 2018 The 73-year-old defends her goddaughter's early phases of experimentation, even comparing Miley's provocative style to her own over-the-top appearance. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "How Is Dolly Parton Related to Miley Cyrus?," 10 Feb. 2019 Unfortunate @realDonaldTrump spoke of US-RoK exercises as provocative war games. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Suspends ‘Provocative’ War Games With South Korea," 12 June 2018 Defenders of the Trump administration’s strategy note that at least the North has ended its provocative missile and nuclear tests. Gardiner Harris, BostonGlobe.com, "Pompeo arrives in North Korea to try to curb its nuclear program," 6 July 2018 Trump may want to declare victory after Singapore and move on, especially if North Korea does not conduct provocative missile or nuclear tests. Jane Vaynman, Washington Post, "There are signs North Korea is still working on its nuclear program. Here’s why ‘denuclearization’ is so problematic.," 30 June 2018 Then there are simmering trade tensions, with provocative moves by both sides. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Mike Pompeo was supposed to meet with his Indian counterpart. He went to North Korea instead.," 6 July 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

8 May 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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