Definition of provoke
Examples of provoke in a Sentence
His remarks provoked both tears and laughter.
He just says those things because he's trying to provoke you.
The animal will not attack unless it is provoked.
Recent Examples of provoke from the Web
Welcome to the first phase of SeaWorld San Diego’s massive makeover, a dramatic new chapter sure to provoke dramatic reactions from visitors of all sizes.
The restoration has revealed a faint red sheen in the Spanish beauty’s black lace dress, a portrait that provoked gossip that Goya was in love with his muse.
Green’s tendency to provoke extends beyond the sidelines.
If the officers were reasonable in using force to defend themselves, Alito said, a court should not go back in time to see whether the incident was provoked.
France has demanded the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Kremlin ally, and accused his regime of staging a chemical attack in April that provoked a U.S. military response.
The announcement came a day after May and her Labour opponent traded vicious barbs about the role British involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts has played in provoking terrorist attacks.
What the parade of negative headlines hasn’t provoked so far is a broad public discussion of how to address issues of overcrowding, security and physical decay of the 3-decades-old Jackson County Detention Center.
But Reilly's comments — which upset Texans enough to provoke an editorial in the Dallas Morning News — formed part of the backdrop to a swelling of local pride over the last week.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provoke'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of provoke
synonyms see in addition irritate
PROVOKE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of provoke for English Language Learners
: to cause the occurrence of (a feeling or action) : to make (something) happen
: to cause (a person or animal) to become angry, violent, etc.
PROVOKE Defined for Kids
Definition of provoke for Students
1 : to cause to become angry Don't provoke your sister.
2 : to bring about The joke provoked a smile.
Word Root of provoke
The Latin word vox, meaning “voice,” and the related word vocāre, meaning “to call”, give us the root voc or vok. Words from the Latin vox or vocāre have something to do with the voice or with calling. Anything vocal is produced by the voice. A vocation is the work that someone is called to do as a job. To evoke is to call forth. To invoke is to call on for aid or protection. To provoke is to call forth another's anger. The word voice also has vox as its root.
Medical Definition of provoke
: to induce (a physical reaction) ipecac provokes vomiting
Legal Definition of provoke
1 : to incite to anger
2 : to provide the needed stimulus for
Seen and Heard
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