• WordNet 3.6
    • n provocation unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
    • n provocation needed encouragement "the result was a provocation of vigorous investigation"
    • n provocation something that incites or provokes; a means of arousing or stirring to action
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Provocation An appeal to a court. A Latinism
    • Provocation Incitement; stimulus; as, provocation to mirth.
    • Provocation (Law) Such prior insult or injury as may be supposed, under the circumstances, to create hot blood, and to excuse an assault made in retort or redress.
    • Provocation That which provokes, or excites anger; the cause of resentment; as, to give provocation .
    • Provocation The act of provoking, or causing vexation or, anger.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n provocation The act of provoking or exciting anger or vexation.
    • n provocation Anything that excites anger; a cause of anger or resentment.
    • n provocation An appeal to a court or judge.
    • n provocation Incitement; stimulus.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Provocation act of provoking: that which provokes: any cause of danger
    • ***


  • John Tillotson
    John Tillotson
    “To be able to bear provocation is an argument of great reason, and to forgive it of a great mind.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    “A gentlemen is one who never strikes a woman without provocation.”
  • Llewelyn Powys
    Llewelyn Powys
    “No sight is more provocative of awe than is the night sky.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. provocation, L. provocatio,. See Provoke
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. provoquer—L. provocāre, pro, forth, vocāre, to call.


In literature:

Precedents were hunted up, and many a story told of women who had done equally desperate deeds under similar provocation.
"A Siren" by Thomas Adolphus Trollope
I do not think that under any provocation a woman should use a horsewhip.
"The Way We Live Now" by Anthony Trollope
Massacre is wicked even with a provocation, as in the Bartholomew.
"The Ball and The Cross" by G.K. Chesterton
She was a woman upon whose action under provocation you could never count.
"Sister Carrie" by Theodore Dreiser
This he did without the slightest provocation, and I defended myself, as I had a right to do.
"Hector's Inheritance" by Horatio Alger
It is to be hoped that he was forgiven, for the provocation was not small.
"Jess" by H. Rider Haggard
Time has been with him, that, for less provocation, he would have laid it about your ears.
"Peveril of the Peak" by Sir Walter Scott
The bull, during the breeding season, will on provocation attack a man, and it is surprising how quickly the former covers the ground.
"The Home of the Blizzard" by Douglas Mawson
What provocation had you?
"The Lane That Had No Turning, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
I have lived your peaceful neighbour under great provocation, for your treatment would have done me harm if my place were less secure.
"The Weavers, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
Even those who thought the funeral fanatical and provocative were ready to defend it.
"The World For Sale, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
She looked from him to the Frenchman provocatively.
"Three Soldiers" by John Dos Passos
They were usually made of the satyrion, which, according to Pliny, was a provocative.
"The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets" by C. Suetonius Tranquillus
The provocation certainly is great, but his mercy is even greater.
"The Revolt of The Netherlands, Complete" by Friedrich Schiller
What provocation had this man?
"Mary Anerley" by R. D. Blackmore
Her wantonness meanwhile continued to work upon her friend, who caught again, on the rebound, the sound of deepest provocation.
"What Maisie Knew" by Henry James
He knew great portions of Shakespeare and Milton by heart, and would recite them at the slightest provocation.
"The History of Mr. Polly" by H. G. Wells
Each man carries a kris, and is ready to use it on the slightest provocation.
"Among Malay Pirates" by G. A. Henty
Both indulged and still indulge in literary and oratorical provocation.
"New York Times, Current History, Vol 1, Issue 1" by Various
In fact, his actions towards Russia were almost openly provocative.
"The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2)" by John Holland Rose

In poetry:

Through the fiery furnace
Walk, O Love, beside me;
In the provocation
From the tempter hide me.
"Pro Castitate" by Digby Mackworth Dolben

In news:

A new study confirms disturbing trend of children dressing and acting provocatively.
The crowd of upscale environmentalists at the New York Racquet and Tennis Club had come to hear Gov Howard Dean of Vermont talk on the provocative topic "After Oil".
This week, the Big East Conference basketball teams will begin their 13th season of play against one another amid a number of provocative questions.
Benetton gets world leaders smooching in provocative ads.
Sarewitz did not set out to become one of the most provocative voices in the country on the question of how academic scientists pursue their research.
China's provocation of Japan over the Senkaku Islands shows a need for Obama to be ready for a crisis in Asia.
United Way of Greater Milwaukee, in collaboration with Serve Marketing, is launching a provocative "Snakes and Rats" campaign to lower teen pregnancy.
But Israeli officials called it a worrisome provocation at a time of upheaval and deepening tension in the Middle East.
Glare from sunlight frames this provocative license plate.
During that time he wrote several provocative, mostly theoretical articles about tapering .
And goodbye to the provocative 'Dream House.
Not even "bad" artwork gets much criticism in saccharine America, but provocative artist Thea Lura welcomes it.
US says test would be 'highly provocative act'.
Time clearly picked this provocative cover image to sell magazines and attract media attention.
Look-Alike Works Make for an Uncommonly Provocative Show.

In science:

This special volume of Statistical Sciences presents some innovative, if not provocative, ideas in the area of reliability, or perhaps more appropriately named, integrated system assessment.
The interesting problem of J/ψ attenuation in heavy ion collisions, so important for the QGP question, remains provocatively open, because σ(J/ψ − nucleon) in nuclear medium remains unmeasured.
Challenges in Hadron Physics
Andreas Kronfeld contributed a number of provocative thoughts.
Theoretical Perspectives: XLIII Rencontres de Moriond - QCD
This is emphasized by the provocative title of Ahaharonov, Albert, and Vaidman’s seminal paper : “How the Result of a Measurement of a Component of the Spin of a Spin-1/2 Particle Can Turn Out to be 100”.
What do quantum "weak" measurements actually measure?
In some provocative way, then, we can say as the title of this paper reads that “size matters”.
Size matters
For a point of principle, one may ignore these facts, but nevertheless it would be much more provocative and promising if arguments showed that a naked singularity could be created using only angular momentum, since that might then actually occur in nature.
Destroying black holes with test bodies
Is it possible that the mechanism for electroweak symmetry breaking is the fundamental scalar field posited in the Standard Model? Let me put this question more provocatively.
Through a glass, darkly: theory summary
K¨ahler manifolds in four dimensions is certainly provocative.
A Strong Coupling Test of S-Duality
See Begeman et al. (1991) for a provocative discussion of this possibility; but watch for results from gravitational lensing which may place very strong constraints. I won’t talk about this possibility here.
The Particle- and Astro-Physics of Dark Matter
The discussion was organized by suggesting essentially three broad provocative questions which were partly answered, but which also generated new challenging queries as we will see now.
Theory Meets Experiment for the Determination of $\Delta G/G$
For some time, there had been provocative indications from the UA1 experiment in the form of an excess of same-sign dimuon events over what can be accounted for in the absence of mixing .
Perspectives on Heavy Quark 98
More SNe Ia (and other distance indicators) will be required to test this provocative result.
Peculiar Velocities from Type Ia Supernovae
The claim then is that the horizon problem is not a problem (I am being deliberately provocative here – I don’t know whether I believe these arguments).
M Theory and Cosmology
The final reason why QIP is interesting is that people often find QIP counterintuitive, fascinating, provocative, and, most importantly, fun to work on.
Why Quantum Information Processing
BES has reported some provocative results about baryon-antibaryon systems and light quark mesons as well.
New Results From CLEO and BES