- tending or serving to provoke; inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing.
- something provocative.
Origin of provocative
Examples from the Web for provocative
This is a provocative subject that is ready-made for the classroom.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
Lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg was as provocative as Hammerstein, though with a much less earnest, more whimsical sensibility.When Broadway Musicals Were Dark And Subversive
December 16, 2014
His post-election press conference was too long, too provocative, and too stingy in his phoned-in praise for the winners.Obama: Lamest Duck Ever?
November 6, 2014
Discarding the idea of testing the waters with a provocative contribution, I just asked what they would do.Blurred Lines at NY Sketchbook Museum
November 1, 2014
In return, Egypt has accused Erdogan of making “provocative” statements and meddling in its internal affairs.Turkey Takes in ‘Terrorists’ from the Muslim Brotherhood
September 19, 2014
Monsieur, if you wish to be heard, let me beg of you not to be provocative in your language.
If the few words I have used so far have been provocative, I regret it.
To see these flying-fish this way was provocative of thought.Tales of Fishes
The conduct of McNeice and Malcolmson was offensive and provocative.The Red Hand of Ulster
George A. Birmingham
Theirs indeed was not provocative of discussion; if satisfactory, it was also obvious.Tristram of Blent
- acting as a stimulus or incitement, esp to anger or sexual desire; provokinga provocative look; a provocative remark
Word Origin and History for provocative
mid-15c., "eliciting," from Middle French provocatif (15c.) and directly from Late Latin provocativus "calling forth," from provocat-, past participle stem of Latin provocare (see provoke). Specifically of sexual desire from 1620s. Related: Provocatively; provocativeness. The earliest appearance of the word in English is as a noun meaning "an aphrodisiac" (early 15c.).