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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 provoked
  • One student probably wouldn't have provoked this reaction but three going out at the same time did.
  • Stingrays are fairly docile and typically strike only when provoked.
  • Thus far, such attacks haven't provoked a military response.
  • Haynes roared with laughter, satisfied that he'd at last provoked an honest expression.
  • provoked by the professor's story, other faculty members have since engaged in a lively conversation about how to avoid his fate.
  • The puzzle is why the government has provoked this fight now.
  • Those things, combined with the horrors of living under occupation, could have provoked them to act.
  • But the huge towers and unsightly tree-cutting that these projects require have provoked intense public opposition.
  • The report provoked a range of responses from higher-education observers.
  • The rise of modern business provoked relentless criticism.
British Dictionary definitions for provoked

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 provoked

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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