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agent provocateur

[ ey-juhnt pruh-vok-uh-tur; French a-zhahn praw-vaw-ka-tœr ]
/ ˈeɪ dʒənt prəˌvɒk əˈtɜr; French a ʒɑ̃ prɔ vɔ kaˈtœr /
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noun, plural a·gents pro·vo·ca·teurs [ey-juhnts pruh-vok-uh-tur; French a-zhahn praw-vaw-ka-tœr]. /ˈeɪ dʒənts prəˌvɒk əˈtɜr; French a ʒɑ̃ prɔ vɔ kaˈtœr/.

a secret agent hired to incite suspected persons to some illegal action, outbreak, etc., that will make them liable to punishment.

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Origin of agent provocateur

1875–80; <French: inciting agent; see provocation, -eur
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for agent provocateur

agent provocateur
/ French (aʒɑ̃ prɔvɔkatœr) /

noun plural agents provocateurs (aʒɑ̃ prɔvɔkatœr)

a secret agent employed to provoke suspected persons to commit illegal acts and so be discredited or liable to punishment
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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