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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 unprovoked
  • If not for the filming these hooligans, the police, would have gotten away with unprovoked life threatening behavior.
  • Instead, they listen to pleas of other wounded people and mistake them for unprovoked attacks.
  • Others have been badly wounded after being charged unprovoked.
  • Most of the time, the wasps' ant-dropping behavior was unprovoked, with ants being simply grabbed and flown away.
  • But on occasions they do charge wickedly, both when wounded and when entirely unprovoked.
  • Video footage and photos later emerged, pointing to an unprovoked killing.
  • Going to war unprovoked should not be a matter of opinion, however honestly held.
  • They were shocked and outraged to be the subject of unprovoked violent attacks by plain-clothes security personnel.
  • Totally unprovoked, yet they had no regard to whether my friends would even survive the beating.
  • The difference being you are so prone to launch unnecessary attacks or mordant quips unprovoked.
British Dictionary definitions for unprovoked

unprovoked

/ʌnprəˈvəʊkt/
adjective
1.
not provoked by anything done or said

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 unprovoked
adj.

1580s, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of provoke.

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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