pro·​vok·​ing prə-ˈvō-kiŋ How to pronounce provoking (audio)
: causing mild anger : annoying
provokingly adverb

Examples of provoking in a Sentence

the host's provoking opinions are the reason why people tune in to his radio talk show in the first place
Recent Examples on the Web Still more provoking was Medill’s vow to ban all wooden buildings within the city limits. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2023 In general, if there was a provoking factor (like surgery) that has gone away, most people do not need lifelong therapy. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 15 Apr. 2023 The results are as enlightening, thought-provoking and frequently amusing as the man himself. Jason Bailey, Chicago Tribune, 1 Apr. 2023 Newsletter Sign-up Grapevine A weekly look at our most colorful, thought-provoking and original feature stories on the business of life. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2023 Including on-brand imagery that’s fun, funny or thought-provoking keeps people wanting more. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2023 Each are sharing their views on the planet and the environment at the eclectic film/art festival/thought provoking conference known as SXSW 2023 taking place through Sunday in Austin, Texas. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, 15 Mar. 2023 These high-profile ads can be funny, thought-provoking, or downright offensive. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'provoking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of provoking was in 1642

Dictionary Entries Near provoking

Cite this Entry

“Provoking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: causing mild anger : annoying
a provoking delay

More from Merriam-Webster on provoking

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