pro·​vok·​ing | \ prə-ˈvō-kiŋ How to pronounce provoking (audio) \

Definition of provoking

: causing mild anger : annoying

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Other Words from provoking

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 Two glamorous, mysterious sisters run a ballet academy together and try to sort through the ramifications of a disturbing accident in this taut, suspenseful novel that’s anxiety-provoking in the best way. Emma Specter, Vogue, 7 July 2021 Their idea here with the book is not to tell founders what to do, but rather be thought-provoking. Eyal Bino, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Like the music itself, the tone is thought-provoking and occasionally eerie, an immersive experience that never tips over into pretension. Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 2021 Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Frank Langella, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Michael Keaton and more take us back on a trip to the past that's sufficiently thought-provoking and undeniably entertaining. USA Today, 22 Apr. 2021 Curated by Portland composer-singer Damien Geter, each selection promises to be thought-provoking and poignant. oregonlive, 22 Mar. 2021 This is the kind of show that is entertaining, wry, and thought-provoking, and also seems destined to become the basis for a film-study major’s senior thesis. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 14 June 2021 Thought leadership, by definition, is all about sharing insights that are unique and thought-provoking. Yec, Forbes, 21 May 2021 While thought-provoking and statement-making, Gurung's brand messaging has always been about courage, optimism, equity, and–above all—hope. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'provoking.' 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 provoking

1642, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More About provoking

Time Traveler for provoking

Time Traveler

The first known use of provoking was in 1642

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Statistics for provoking

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Provoking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on provoking

Nglish: Translation of provoking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of provoking for Arabic Speakers


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