Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: provoquer, from Latin provocare, from vocare 'to call'

provoke

verb
     
pro‧voke [transitive]
1 to cause a reaction or feeling, especially a sudden one [↪ provocation]
provoke a protest/an outcry/criticism etc
The proposal provoked widespread criticism.
The decision to invade provoked storms of protest.
The novel has provoked fierce debate in the US.
provoke somebody into (doing) something
She hopes her editorial will provoke readers into thinking seriously about the issue.
provoke somebody to do something
Emma, though still at school, was provoked to help too.
2 to make someone angry, especially deliberately:
The dog would not have attacked if it hadn't been provoked.
provoke somebody into (doing) something
Paul tried to provoke Fletch into a fight.

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