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

Two men wielding metal baseball bats brutally beat a man on a New York City sidewalk in June, and a month after the seemingly unprovoked attack the suspects still haven't been located. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Bat-wielding men caught on camera in New York City sidewalk attack," 19 July 2018 BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas said that Cowell, a white man, appeared to pull out his knife unprovoked and began stabbing the two women. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Anne Hathaway's Instagram Post Remembering Nia Wilson Also Called Out White Privilege," 27 July 2018 Last month the fashion brand came under fire after designer Stefano Gabbana made a nasty and unprovoked comment about Selena Gomez on Instagram. Colleen Kratofil, PEOPLE.com, "Ashley Graham, Naomi Campbell Criticized for Walking Dolce & Gabbana Show After Selena Gomez Diss," 9 July 2018 In 2017, there were only 88 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, five of which were fatal, compared to the hundreds of millions of people who swam safely in the oceans. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "Should I Worry About Sharks in the Northeast?," 21 Sep. 2018 Police say the attacks were unprovoked and some victims were seriously hurt. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Son of Ryan O'Neal, Farrah Fawcett accused of crime spree in Los Angeles," 9 June 2018 From 1948 to 2017, 401 unprovoked bite incidents have occurred in Florida with 24 of these proving fatal. Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "Video: Gator caught crossing airport runway; holds up a plane," 11 June 2018 According to the wildlife commission, the likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator incident in Florida is roughly only one in 3.2 million. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Gator attacks, likely kills woman as she walked dogs in Florida," 8 June 2018 The unprovoked water hose incident at the Halloween dance. Jeremy Egner, New York Times, "‘Karate Kid’ Revisited: This Rivalry Is Not Quite Ready for a Body Bag," 26 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for unprovoked

Last Updated

16 May 2019

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Time Traveler for unprovoked

The first known use of unprovoked was in 1534

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Spanish Central: Translation of unprovoked

Nglish: Translation of unprovoked for Spanish Speakers

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using a distributed computer network

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