provoke

[ pruh-vohk ]
/ prəˈvoʊk /

verb (used with object), pro·voked, pro·vok·ing.

to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex.
to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity): The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
to give rise to, induce, or bring about: What could have provoked such an incident?
Obsolete. to summon.

Origin of provoke

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin prōvocāre to call forth, challenge, provoke, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + vocāre to call; akin to vōx voice

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See irritate. 2, 3. See incite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for provoke

British Dictionary definitions for provoke

provoke

/ (prəˈvəʊk) /

verb (tr)

to anger or infuriate
to cause to act or behave in a certain manner; incite or stimulate
to promote (certain feelings, esp anger, indignation, etc) in a person
obsolete to summon

Derived Forms

provoking, adjectiveprovokingly, adverb

Word Origin for provoke

C15: from Latin prōvocāre to call forth, from vocāre to call
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