[ pruh-voh-king ]
/ prəˈvoʊ kɪŋ /


serving to provoke; causing annoyance.

Nearby words

  1. provocate,
  2. provocateur,
  3. provocation,
  4. provocative,
  5. provoke,
  6. provolone,
  7. provost,
  8. provost court,
  9. provost guard,
  10. provost marshal

Origin of provoking

First recorded in 1520–30; provoke + -ing2

Related formspro·vok·ing·ly, adverbun·pro·vok·ing, adjectiveun·pro·vok·ing·ly, adverb


[ 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for provoking

British Dictionary definitions for provoking


/ (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 Formsprovoking, 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

Word Origin and History for provoking
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper