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provoke

[pruh-vohk] /prəˈvoʊk/
verb (used with object), provoked, provoking.
1.
to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex.
2.
to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity):
The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
3.
to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
4.
to give rise to, induce, or bring about:
What could have provoked such an incident?
5.
Obsolete. to summon.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
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
provoker, noun
misprovoke, verb (used with object), misprovoked, misprovoking.
overprovoke, verb, overprovoked, overprovoking.
preprovoke, verb (used with object), preprovoked, preprovoking.
unprovoked, adjective
Synonyms
1. irk, annoy, aggravate, exacerbate, infuriate. See irritate. 2. rouse, instigate. 2, 3. See incite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for provoke
  • No other flavor can provoke such an intense negative reaction.
  • Facing eyeball to eyeball is sure to provoke a fight.
  • The same malfunction can provoke high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, or epilepsy.
  • The mature questions that provoke meaningful free argument are sometimes crushed.
  • The launches and the threats they provoke do raise concerns.
  • These images provoke aha moments far more often than typed or verbal summaries.
  • The reactionaries seemed determined to provoke popular anger.
  • They think that this remembrance of their virtue and goodness doth vehemently provoke and enforce the quick to virtue.
  • Or something which does not provoke emotional response before people even get a chance to consider the topic.
  • These are not surprising since these are immune reactions, and the vaccine is supposed to provoke an immune response.
British Dictionary definitions for provoke

provoke

/prəˈvəʊk/
verb (transitive)
1.
to anger or infuriate
2.
to cause to act or behave in a certain manner; incite or stimulate
3.
to promote (certain feelings, esp anger, indignation, etc) in a person
4.
(obsolete) to summon
Derived Forms
provoking, adjective
provokingly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for provoke
v.

late 14c., from Old French provoker, provochier (12c., Modern French provoquer) and directly from Latin provocare "call forth, challenge," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + vocare "to call" (see voice (n.)). Related: Provoked; provoking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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