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[prov-uh-key-shuh n] /ˌprɒv əˈkeɪ ʃən/
the act of provoking.
something that incites, instigates, angers, or irritates.
Criminal Law. words or conduct leading to killing in hot passion and without deliberation.
Origin of provocation
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin prōvocātiōn- (stem of prōvocātiō) a calling forth, equivalent to prōvocāt(us) (past participle of prōvocāre to provoke; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
provocational, adjective
nonprovocation, noun
overprovocation, noun
preprovocation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for provocation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How in the name of wonder will I hinder her to give me provocation?

  • I thought my devotion in spite of every provocation might burn away your bitterness.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • They were patient and long-suffering under difficulties and provocation.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • To ears tingling with prophetic apprehension the provocation was intense.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • When I think of the provocation, I do not blame you––so much!

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
British Dictionary definitions for provocation


the act of provoking or inciting
something that causes indignation, anger, etc
(English criminal law) words or conduct that incite a person to attack another
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for provocation

c.1400, from Old French provocacion (12c.) and directly from Latin provocationem (nominative provocatio) "a calling forth, a summoning, a challenge," noun of action from past participle stem of provocare "to call out" (see provoke).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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