unprovoked

adjective
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 Tragically, Iraqi civilians were killed, but this was no unprovoked massacre. WSJ, "Can Anyone Justify the Blackwater Pardons?," 4 Jan. 2021 The 2007 unprovoked killing of Iraqi civilians by Blackwater security contractors is remembered here as one of the most emblematic chapters of America's ruinous invasion. Washington Post, "In Iraq, Trump’s Blackwater pardons meet with cynicism, fatigue," 23 Dec. 2020 Slatten and his supporters had argued that he and the other three were scapegoated by U.S. officials to assuage Iraqi public opinion, which was inflamed by what many Iraqis considered an unprovoked massacre. Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, "Trump continues to use pardons to reward allies, settle scores," 22 Dec. 2020 The incident is the latest in a series of unprovoked shark attacks in Florida. NBC News, "Shark bites Florida man who walked home profusely bleeding," 17 Dec. 2020 Sarasota County has only had seven unprovoked shark attacks in the past 138 years. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'Blood all over': Florida man bitten by shark, returns home before calling 911," 17 Dec. 2020 Shocking video shows a man punching a 70-year-old man, knocking the elderly man to the ground, in what authorities say was an unprovoked attack. Austen Erblat, sun-sentinel.com, "Police seeking man caught on video sucker punching 70-year-old," 9 Dec. 2020 The event commences at 11:55 a.m., the exact time local the unprovoked attack on American soil began. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ resonates with veterans, citizens 79 years later at Highland event," 7 Dec. 2020 Police said the person in the video is believed to be responsible for a string of random, unprovoked attacks that have occurred since Nov. 10. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "Massachusetts police search for suspect in string of 10 ‘random, unprovoked’ street attacks," 1 Dec. 2020

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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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unprovoked.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unprovoked. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on unprovoked

Nglish: Translation of unprovoked for Spanish Speakers

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