follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for provokes
  • It provokes individuals to react rapidly, almost instinctively, in the face of perceived danger.
  • Of course caffeine in excess provokes seizures in these people, as do numerous other drugs including tricyclic anti depressants.
  • Running through simulations still provokes your mind to mirror actual actions.
  • The idea is that carbs cause the body to overproduce insulin, a hormone that provokes hunger pangs, which leads to more eating.
  • Indeed, in today's world, it may be not so much differences but their diminution that provokes antagonism.
  • From a certain view, any prof is better off not noticing, or commenting on student clothing which provokes any sensual reactions.
  • Ethical criticism provokes thought and discussion, while censorship ends it.
  • Be yourself and if that provokes the bully into attacking over and over, then good.
  • Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread the ways of blood-curdling strife.
  • The interest is shifted from the avenger to the deed which provokes their malice.
British Dictionary definitions for provokes

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for provokes

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for provoke

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for provokes

17
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with provokes