provoke
transitive verb (provoked; provoking) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French *provoker, provocher, from Latin provocare, from pro- forth + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at pro-, voice Date: 14th century 1. a. archaic to arouse to a feeling or action b. to incite to anger 2. a. to call forth (as a feeling or action) ; evoke <
provoke laughter
>
b. to stir up purposely <
provoke a fight
>
c. to provide the needed stimulus for <
will provoke a lot of discussion
>
provoker noun Synonyms: provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken mean to arouse as if by pricking. provoke directs attention to the response called forth <
my stories usually provoke laughter
>
. excite implies a stirring up or moving profoundly <
news that excited anger and frustration
>
. stimulate suggests a rousing out of lethargy, quiescence, or indifference <
stimulating conversation
>
. pique suggests stimulating by mild irritation or challenge <
that remark piqued my interest
>
. quicken implies beneficially stimulating and making active or lively <
the high salary quickened her desire to have the job
>
. Synonym: see in addition irritate.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Provoke — Pro*voke , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Provoked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Provoking}.] [F. provoquer, L. provocare to call forth; pro forth + vocare to call, fr. vox, vocis, voice, cry, call. See {Voice}.] To call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • provoke — 1 Provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken, galvanize can all mean to rouse one into doing or feeling something or to call something into existence by so rousing a person. Provoke stresses a power in the agent or agency sufficient to produce… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • provoke — pro·voke /prə vōk/ vt pro·voked, pro·vok·ing 1: to incite to anger 2: to provide the needed stimulus for pro·vok·er n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • provoke — [prə vōk′, prōvōk′] vt. provoked, provoking [ME provoken < MFr provoquer < L provocare, to call forth < pro , PRO 2 + vocare, to call < vox, VOICE] 1. to excite to some action or feeling 2. to anger, irritate, or annoy 3 …   English World dictionary

  • provoke — [v1] make angry abet, abrade, affront, aggravate, anger, annoy, bother, bug*, chafe, enrage, exasperate, exercise, foment, fret, gall*, get*, get on one’s nerves*, get under one’s skin*, grate, hit where one lives*, incense, incite, inflame,… …   New thesaurus

  • Provoke — Pro*voke , v. i. 1. To cause provocation or anger. [1913 Webster] 2. To appeal. Note: [A Latinism] [Obs.] Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • provoke — early 15c., from O.Fr. provoker (14c., Fr. provoquer), from L. provocare call forth, challenge, from pro forth (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + vocare to call (see VOICE (Cf. voice)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • provoke — ► VERB 1) stimulate or cause (a strong or unwelcome reaction or emotion) in someone. 2) deliberately annoy or anger. 3) incite to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger. ORIGIN Latin provocare to challenge …   English terms dictionary

  • provoke — pro|voke [prəˈvəuk US ˈvouk] v [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: provoquer, from Latin provocare, from vocare to call ] 1.) to cause a reaction or feeling, especially a sudden one →↑provocation provoke a protest/an outcry/criticism etc ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • provoke */*/ — UK [prəˈvəʊk] / US [prəˈvoʊk] verb [transitive] Word forms provoke : present tense I/you/we/they provoke he/she/it provokes present participle provoking past tense provoked past participle provoked 1) to deliberately try to make someone angry He… …   English dictionary

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