- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for provoke on Thesaurus.com
1. irk, annoy, aggravate, exacerbate, infuriate. 2. rouse, instigate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for provoked
Everyone out there who says, “Charlie Hebdo provoked,” is making the same fundamental error.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
The story was so appalling, the attack so brutish and morally offensive, that it provoked an immediate, furious response.Why It Was Right to Question Rolling Stone’s U-VA Rape Story
December 5, 2014
And as with all cheerful, well-intentioned memes, the Challenge has provoked some good old-fashioned political trolling.Ice Bucket Challenge Leads to Political Trolling
August 21, 2014
But in addition to attracting some 600,000 new donors, the viral charity stunt has provoked a bit of controversy, too.#IceBucketChallenge Wisdom From 'Jackass' Steve-O
August 21, 2014
The humiliating incident is likely to have provoked a furious reaction from the Queen.Queen's Horse Which Tested Positive For Morphine Could Have Eaten Poppy Seeds
July 24, 2014
I was provoked, and I married in hopes of provoking the man I loved.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
We are apt to be fond of any body that will side with us, when oppressed or provoked.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
I had no more fear, as every one had gone too far and provoked me too much.My Double Life
But he was now determined not to be provoked by any thing I could say or look.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
He was resolved to be all condescension, if anew you had not provoked him.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
- 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
C15: from Latin prōvocāre to call forth, from vocāre to call
Word Origin and History for provoked
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper