What does provoke mean?

Definitions for provoke

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word provoke.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. arouse, elicit, enkindle, kindle, evoke, fire, raise, provokeverb

    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)

    "arouse pity"; "raise a smile"; "evoke sympathy"

  2. provoke, evoke, call forth, kick upverb

    evoke or provoke to appear or occur

    "Her behavior provoked a quarrel between the couple"

  3. provoke, stimulateverb

    provide the needed stimulus for

  4. harass, hassle, harry, chivy, chivvy, chevy, chevvy, beset, plague, molest, provokeverb

    annoy continually or chronically

    "He is known to harry his staff when he is overworked"; "This man harasses his female co-workers"


  1. provokeverb

    to cause someone to become annoyed or angry.

    Don't provoke the dog, it may try to bite you.

  2. provokeverb

    to bring about a reaction.

  3. Etymology: From provoquer, from provocare.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PROVOKEverb

    Etymology: provoquer, Fr. provoco, Latin.

    Ye provoke me unto wrath, burning incense unto other Gods. Jer. xliv. 8.

    Neither to provoke nor dread
    New war provok’d. John Milton.

    To whet their courage, and their rage provoke. Dryden.

    I neither fear, nor will provoke the war. Dryden.

    Though often provoked, by the insolence of some of the bishops, to a dislike of their overmuch fervour, his integrity to the king was without blemish. Edward Hyde.

    Such acts
    Of contumacy will provoke the highest. John Milton.

    Agamemnon provokes Apollo against them, whom he was willing to appease afterwards. Alexander Pope.

    Drink is a great provoker; it provokes and unprovokes. Sha.

    One Petro covered up his patient with warm cloaths, and when the fever began a little to decline, gave him cold water to drink till he provoked sweat. Arbuthnot.

    He now provokes the sea-gods from the shore,
    With envy Triton heard the martial sound,
    And the bold champion for his challenge drown’d. Dryden.

    We may not be startled at the breaking of the exterior earth; for the face of nature hath provoked men to think of, and observe such a thing. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

  2. To Provokeverb

    Arius and Pelagius durst provoke
    To what the centuries preceding spoke. Dryden.

    It was not your brother’s evil disposition made him seek his death, but a provoking merit. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    The Lord abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons. Deutr. xxxii. 19.

    If we consider man in such a loathsome and provoking condition, was it not love enough, that he was permitted to enjoy a being. Taylor.


  1. provoke

    To provoke means to stimulate or incite someone into action or reaction, often by causing anger, irritation, or strong feelings. This can also refer to deliberately make a situation, problem, or feeling worse.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Provokeverb

    to call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to incense to action, a faculty or passion, as love, hate, or ambition; hence, commonly, to incite, as a person, to action by a challenge, by taunts, or by defiance; to exasperate; to irritate; to offend intolerably; to cause to retaliate

  2. Provokeverb

    to cause provocation or anger

  3. Provokeverb

    to appeal. [A Latinism]


  1. Provoke

    Provoke is the third album of Dutch death metal band Altar. It was released in 1998 by Displeased Records.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Provoke

    prō-vōk′, v.t. to call forth: to summon: to excite or call into action: to excite with anger: to offend: (B.) to challenge.—n. Provocā′tion, act of provoking: that which provokes: any cause of danger.—adjs. Provoc′ative, Provoc′atory, tending to provoke or excite.—n. anything that stirs up or provokes.—n. Provoc′ativeness, the quality of being provocative.—adj. Provō′kable.—ns. Provōke′ment (Spens.), provocation; Provō′ker, one who, or that which, provokes, causes, or promotes.—adj. Provō′king, irritating.—adv. Provō′kingly.—The provocation, the sojourn of the Jews in the wilderness, when they provoked God. [Fr. provoquer—L. provocāre, pro, forth, vocāre, to call.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'provoke' in Verbs Frequency: #721

How to pronounce provoke?

How to say provoke in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of provoke in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of provoke in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of provoke in a Sentence

  1. Drew Thompson:

    Honestly, this isn't a good time for Xi Jinping to provoke a military conflict right before the 20th party congress. It's in Xi Jinping's interest to manage this rationally and not instigate a crisis on top of all the other crises Xi Jinping has to deal with.

  2. Isabel Hilton:

    Beijing( sees the incursions) as an attempt by their own population to troll Taiwan, to provoke Taiwan, to make fun of Taiwan's incompetence. They treat it as a propaganda victory.

  3. Sergey Lavrov:

    Kyiv is becoming increasingly insolent in its aggressiveness towards the Minsk agreements, the Russian Federation, and in its attempts to provoke the West to support its military ambitions.

  4. The Pope:

    It's normal, it's normal. One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith, one cannot make fun of faith.

  5. Anne Marie Schieber:

    John Gibbs made the site to provoke the left on campus and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of some modern-day feminists. It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top, of course, John Gibbs does not believe that women shouldn't vote or shouldn't work, and John Gibbs mother worked for thirty-three years for the Michigan Department of Transportation !

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Translations for provoke

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"provoke." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/provoke>.

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    the sport of traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle
    A bash
    B cycling
    C accommodation
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