un·​pro·​voked | \ ˌən-prə-ˈvōkt How to pronounce unprovoked (audio) \

Definition of unprovoked

: occurring without any identifiable cause or justification : not provoked an unprovoked assault/attack unprovoked anger

Examples of unprovoked in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cox was seriously injured after an unprovoked attack by a small group of Roma supporters outside the ground, leaving the Irishman in a coma after being struck on the head in the build up to the Champions League semi-final in April 2018. SI.com, "Liverpool Fan Sean Cox to Make First Anfield Return Against Man City After Roma Fan Attack," 6 Nov. 2019 Near Addis Ababa non-Oromo were killed in unprovoked attacks. The Economist, "Ethnic violence threatens to tear Ethiopia apart," 2 Nov. 2019 Video of the incident circulating widely on social media appeared to show that the attack was unprovoked. BostonGlobe.com, "HONG KONG — A police officer was stabbed in Hong Kong on Sunday, police officials said, in what appeared to be an escalation of the street violence that has gripped the city for months, as flash-mob gatherings unfolded across town.," 14 Oct. 2019 Authorities said the attack was unprovoked and that the victim fled by jumping from a second-story window. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Suspect in fatal Antioch stabbing identified as 28-year-old man," 1 Oct. 2019 Corona police said the assault, which was captured on Costco security cameras, was unprovoked and led the officer to fire his 9-millimeter pistol. Los Angeles Times, "Costco shooting: LAPD officer won’t face criminal charges in killing of intellectually disabled man," 25 Sep. 2019 Witnesses told investigators that the man was the victim of an unprovoked attack, and two juvenile suspects were identified and located by deputies, the sheriff's office said. Jamiel Lynch, CNN, "Two teens have been charged in the fatal, unprovoked attack on a man at a Maryland fair, police say," 23 Sep. 2019 Corona police have said the assault was unprovoked. Paloma Esquivel, latimes.com, "Shoppers at a Costco in Corona struggle with deadly shooting in a food-tasting line," 24 June 2019 One of the witnesses reportedly diffused the incident between Sedlar and the student by leading the boy out of the classroom when Sedlar allegedly struck him on the back of the head with her cell phone, unprovoked, according to court documents. Kara Quebedeaux, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD educator accused of striking autistic student with cell phone, charged with injury," 6 Nov. 2019

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

1534, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unprovoked was in 1534

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Statistics for unprovoked

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Unprovoked.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprovoked. Accessed 5 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on unprovoked

Spanish Central: Translation of unprovoked

Nglish: Translation of unprovoked for Spanish Speakers

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