Definition of provoke in English:

provoke

Syllabification: pro·voke
Pronunciation: /prəˈvōk
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone: the decision provoked a storm of protest from civil rights organizations
More example sentences
  • Deconstructionism is one of the words that provokes a strong reaction from both sides.
  • The Sri Lankan army, which has inflicted widespread damage and constantly harasses local residents, recently killed several local youth, provoking angry protests.
  • In fact the commission's analysis of the state of British convergence with the eurozone was very mild, extremely careful and deliberately designed to avoid provoking a bust-up.
Synonyms
1.1Stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them: a teacher can provoke you into working harder
More example sentences
  • I view theatre as an institution that educates, stimulates, and provokes the audience - it makes them think and feel.
  • She is also comfortable following a traditional line with novels that do not seek to challenge or provoke the reader.
  • There are times when you have to provoke people, challenge them to go further.
Synonyms
goad, spur, prick, sting, prod, egg on, incite, rouse, stir, move, stimulate, motivate, excite, inflame, work/fire up, impel
1.2Deliberately make (someone) annoyed or angry: Rachel refused to be provoked
More example sentences
  • The warning about conduct was meant to stop people deliberately provoking him.
  • He could see tears in her eyes, and it made him angry that Jeff was provoking her.
  • Nathan was looking at her with a wild expression, the kind he got whenever she had deliberately provoked him.
Synonyms
annoy, anger, incense, enrage, irritate, infuriate, exasperate, madden, nettle, get/take a rise out of, ruffle, ruffle someone's feathers, make someone's hackles rise; harass, harry, plague, molest; tease, taunt, torment; rub the wrong way
informal peeve, aggravate, hassle, miff, needle, rankle, ride, rile, get, bug, make someone's blood boil, get under someone's skin, get in someone's hair, get/put someone's back up, get someone's goat, wind up

Origin

late Middle English (also in the sense 'invoke, summon'): from Old French provoquer, from Latin provocare 'challenge', from pro- 'forth' + vocare 'to call'.

Derivatives

provokable

adjective
More example sentences
  • We evaluated the sensitivity and safety of rapid atrial pacing combined with electrocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography for inducing and detecting provokable demand ischemia in 20 anesthetized patients with multivessel coronary artery disease.
  • This led to the development of the "provokable nice guy" strategy, a peace-maker until attacked.

provoker

noun
More example sentences
  • The anxiety provokers - media, politicians, and arm chair generals - increase our level of fear, often for self-serving reasons.
  • As the family enacts various events or uses role play, the therapist may ask questions, direct interactions, or make comments, acting as a reporter, involved audience provoker, or director.
  • To a significant degree, the victim was an initiator, willing participant, aggressor, or provoker of the incident.

Definition of provoke in:

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