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
The crowding forced Bolton to open a half-century-old jail space above police headquarters, a move that has cost hundreds of thousands in maintenance and unbudgeted overtime, provoked concerns about inmate safety and strained staff morale.
So why, Ulbricht provoked, were recreational drugs illegal?
But one of the organization’s cornerstones is celebrating unconventionality, with forward-looking music that consistently challenges and provokes.
SACRAMENTO — Californians may hate swerving to avoid potholes, but a new law that will charge drivers an extra $10 a month to pave over the state’s problem roads is provoking its own kind of road rage.
The attack was provoked after someone in Yantz's vehicle threw a bottle at the car in which the teen was riding, resulting in a fight, the spokeswoman said.
Unfortunately, a fix will not be found in the sort of bilateral trade negotiations Mr. Trump’s comments seem intended to provoke.
Despite periodic accusations that Israel provoked war to seize East Jerusalem, Achmon told me in a recent conversation that there were no accessible contingency plans, and little intelligence.
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.
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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