[prov-uh-key-shuh n]


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

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 formsprov·o·ca·tion·al, adjectivenon·prov·o·ca·tion, nouno·ver·prov·o·ca·tion, nounpre·prov·o·ca·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for provocation

Contemporary Examples of provocation

Historical Examples of provocation

  • 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.

  • 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

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