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agent provocateur

Syllabification: a·gent pro·vo·ca·teur
Pronunciation: /ˌäZHän(t) prəˌvôkəˈtər

Definition of agent provocateur in English:

noun (plural agents provocateurs pronounced same or /-ˈtərz/)

A person who induces others to break the law so that they can be convicted.
Example sentences
  • A year later, four were hanged, even as evidence emerged revealing that the bomb may have been thrown by an agent provocateur in the employ of the police.
  • These agents provocateurs broke windows and carried out other acts of violence before turning on the other demonstrators, firing their weapons and making arrests.
  • It employed agents provocateurs to lure people into unwise utterances.


late 19th century: French, literally 'provocative agent'.

Definition of agent provocateur in:

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