- 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 unprovoked
One such pupil, unprovoked, wrote “Death to the Arabs” in the thread.Racism and Religious Zionist Youth Movements: Own Up
Dr. Assaf David
May 30, 2013
He does not want to join my reader in describing U.S. actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan as "unprovoked."Partisanship too Far? Republicans Shouldn't Stand With Rand
March 11, 2013
But Palestinians said a video of the entire incident showed that the violence by soldiers was unprovoked.Mira Ten-Hagen’s Viral Video: Israel and Foreign Activists Clash
April 17, 2012
This is, of course, an unconscionable, unprovoked insult to hardworking gangsters everywhere.Obama's No Gangster, Bachmann
March 7, 2011
And if you ask as friends, you have done us bitter wrong, by attacking us unprovoked.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
The attack was so unprovoked that Stroeve, taken unawares, was defenceless.The Moon and Sixpence
W. Somerset Maugham
That still doesn't excuse a wanton and unprovoked aggression!A Slave is a Slave
Henry Beam Piper
This calamity is not the work of the unprovoked fury of the angry elements.The Johnstown Horror
James Herbert Walker
The war was the result of Germany's unprovoked invasion of our shores.The Message
Alec John Dawson
- not provoked by anything done or said
- 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
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 unprovoked
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper