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 But this campaign has also involved subtler and more provocative efforts to influence public opinion. Ankush Khardori, The New Republic, "The Justice Department’s Very Convenient Corporate Crackdown," 23 Oct. 2020 But continued ambiguity in the face of Mr. Xi’s escalating rhetoric and provocative movements by his armed forces in the Taiwan Strait presents the greater risk of a confrontation as dangerous as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Paul Wolfowitz, WSJ, "The Korean War’s Lesson for Taiwan," 13 Oct. 2020 The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the military move, said the reinforcements are meant to be a clear signal to Russia to avoid any more unsafe and provocative actions against the U.S. and its allies there. Lolita C. Baldor, Star Tribune, "US sends troops, armored vehicles to Syria to counter Russia," 18 Sep. 2020 This is where the book is most gripping and provocative. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas author Mike Soto pens a surreal journey through a fictional border town," 23 July 2020 With its plush conversational seating out front and its quick-stepping staff inside, Newsome Harlow is accommodating and provocative. SFChronicle.com, "Take a Tahoe winery detour through wine and snow in Northeastern California's Calaveras County," 21 Jan. 2020 The movie started getting backlash on the internet even before it was released on the streaming service, in part because of a particularly provocative image from the movie that Netflix used in a promotional poster. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Texas grand jury indicts Netflix for allegedly promoting lewd material over the film 'Cuties'," 8 Oct. 2020 However, one student artist may be regretting just how provocative his thesis project proved to be. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "An Art Student Dumped 62,000 Pounds of Carrots on a London Street," 5 Oct. 2020 This was the provocative question asked in a recent feature by Dallas Morning News contributor Benjamin Lima. Christopher Wynn, Dallas News, "Join us for a chat with artist Carrie Mae Weems and former ‘Vogue’ editor-at-large André Leon Talley," 3 Oct. 2020

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

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

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Statistics for provocative

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Provocative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/provocative. Accessed 31 Oct. 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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