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

The highly opinionated draft curriculum seemed more provocative than informative. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Require ethnic studies for California students. But first, rewrite the curriculum," 29 Aug. 2019 Perhaps the most provocative brief has little to do with entertainment or media — at least directly. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Wall Street Journal Publisher Tells Supreme Court of Being Victimized by California," 14 Aug. 2019 China's biggest push is in agriculture but researchers there are also applying the editor on a large scale in animals, with pig organs for human transplants the most provocative goal. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "With its CRISPR revolution, China becomes a world leader in genome editing," 2 Aug. 2019 According to a story in the New York Times, Gamble has written a provocative essay proposing businesses be required to enact ethical guidelines into their corporate bylaws. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Putting Ethics on Par With Shareholder Value: CEO Daily," 30 July 2019 To see the wildlife in its natural habitat and to experience nature’s economy and graciousness in such a different setting was a real experience and very provocative. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: A lot to hear and see on early morning summer walks," 16 July 2019 While Americans may be accustomed to provocative statements from Trump, Afghans tend to interpret any comment by a US president about Afghanistan as an official declaration of policy. David Zucchino, BostonGlobe.com, "Afghanistan recoils at Trump’s comments about destroying the country," 23 July 2019 Fearful of his Twitter account and sweeping popularity among Republican voters, GOP lawmakers have largely tried to ignore the provocative statements. Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "Trump tells Democratic congresswomen of color to ‘go back’ to countries they came from in tweets denounced as racist," 15 July 2019 Fearful of his Twitter account and sweeping popularity among many Republican voters, GOP lawmakers have largely tried to ignore the provocative statements. Jill Colvin, Time, "'Many People Agree With Me.' Trump Defends Racist Tweets About Congresswomen," 15 July 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.

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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

11 Sep 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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