Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

provocateur

[pruh-vok-uh-tur, -too r; French praw-vaw-ka-tœr]
See more synonyms for provocateur on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural pro·vo·ca·teurs [pruh-vok-uh-turz, -too rz; French praw-vaw-ka-tœr] /prəˌvɒk əˈtɜrz, -ˈtʊərz; French prɔ vɔ kaˈtœr/.
  1. a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.
  2. (italics) French. agent provocateur.
Show More

Origin of provocateur

1915–20; < French < Latin prōvocātor challenger, appellant, equivalent to provocā(re) to provoke + -tor -tor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for provocateur

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for provocateur

provocateur

noun
  1. a person who deliberately behaves controversially in order to provoke argument or other strong reactions
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for provocateur

n.

1915 (Emma Goldman), shortened form of agent provocateur "person hired to make trouble" (1845), from French provocateur, from Latin provocator "challenger," from provocare "to call out" (see provoke).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper