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.

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.]

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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. Hugo Cancio:

    It's amazing, this is a new beginning, a dream come true for the 11.2 million Cubans in Cuba, and I think it will provoke a change of mentality here too in this community.

  2. Tim Kaine:

    I still think there's a real issue about the US attempting to provoke stuff, i think the Trump administration would like Americans to believe that it's Iran acting, or potentially acting, unilaterally against us, but I think the US is trying to provoke them.

  3. Marcus Bjorkgren:

    You don't provoke each other, but you keep a close eye and show your presence.

  4. Stephen Schwartz:

    I'm not aware that such an assessment has ever been done before, a violent domestic insurrection was almost certainly not part of the DOD and Secret Service threat matrix until six months ago, and it's the only recent known event putting the' football' in significant potential danger to provoke this level of concern.

  5. Dan Barina:

    We're not here to provoke anybody, we're here to work with our allies.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for provoke

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"provoke." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/provoke>.

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    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    • A. usurious
    • B. bibulous
    • C. jejune
    • D. irascible

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