• WordNet 3.6
    • v provoke provide the needed stimulus for
    • v provoke evoke or provoke to appear or occur "Her behavior provoked a quarrel between the couple"
    • v provoke call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses) "arouse pity","raise a smile","evoke sympathy"
    • v provoke annoy continually or chronically "He is known to harry his staff when he is overworked","This man harasses his female co-workers"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Provoke To appeal. A Latinism
    • v. t Provoke 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. "Obey his voice, provoke him not.""Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.""Such acts
      Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
      To make death in us live."
      "Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust?""To the poet the meaning is what he pleases to make it, what it provokes in his own soul."
    • Provoke To cause provocation or anger.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • provoke To call forth or out; challenge; summon.
    • provoke To stimulate to action; move; excite; arouse.
    • provoke To call forth; cause; occasion; instigate.
    • provoke To excite to anger or passion; exasperate; irritate; enrage.
    • provoke Synonyms and To stir up, rouse, awake, induce, incite, impel, kindle.
    • provoke Irritate, Incense, etc. (see exasperate), offend, anger, chafe, nettle, gall.
    • provoke To appeal.
    • provoke To produce anger or irritation. Compare provoking.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Provoke prō-vōk′ to call forth: to summon: to excite or call into action: to excite with anger: to offend:
    • n Provoke anything that stirs up or provokes
    • v.t Provoke prō-vōk′ (B.) to challenge
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Macduff: What three things does drink especially provoke? Porter: Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.”
  • Seneca
    “It's the admirer and the watcher who provoke us to all the inanities we commit.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.”
  • Seneca
    “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.”
  • Ernst Fischer
    Ernst Fischer
    “To provoke dreams of terror in the slumber of prosperity has become the moral duty of literature.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. provoquer, L. provocare, to call forth; pro, forth + vocare, to call, fr. vox, vocis, voice, cry, call. See Voice
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. provoquer—L. provocāre, pro, forth, vocāre, to call.


In literature:

I was provoking enough to say that I did wish it, for I wanted him to see the comfortable appearance of the room that he so dreaded to enter.
"Uncle Max" by Rosa Nouchette Carey
She was provoked with herself, for letting the shadow of such things touch her.
"The Other Girls" by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
But what rabble was it to provoke?
"The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18)" by John Dryden
It was the first emotion she had ever provoked in him, and her heart beat faster.
"The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes" by Israel Zangwill
This daringly unconstitutional doctrine provoked a renewed outcry.
"The History of England" by T.F. Tout
The objects that provoke aesthetic emotion vary with each individual.
"Art" by Clive Bell
What is it that provokes his dislike or hostility?
"Shakespearean Tragedy" by A. C. Bradley
But his affectation of meekness was more provoking than his sarcasm.
"The Vicissitudes of Bessie Fairfax" by Harriet Parr
One Wednesday morning, Anne was especially provoking.
"Honey-Sweet" by Edna Turpin
Still, it was an appearance that would always provoke discussion.
"Great Possessions" by Mrs. Wilfrid Ward

In poetry:

No bold offence of mine I knew
Should e'er provoke your hate;
And, early taught to think you true,
Still hoped a gentler fate.
"Written In A Quarrel" by William Cowper
When Pharaoh dared to vex the saints,
And thus provoked their God,
Moses was sent at their complaints,
Armed with his dreadful rod.
"PSALM 105 Abridged" by Isaac Watts
"The cant of party, school, and sect,
Provoked at times his honest scorn,
And Folly, in its gray respect,
He tossed on satire's horn.
"My Namesake" by John Greenleaf Whittier
SIGISMUND. You but provoke my rage
By these old saws, the unwelcome light of age,
In killing you, at least I'll see
If 'tis a dream or truth.
"Life Is A Dream - Act II" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
With these I roam, I sing with those,
And should the world with smiles or jeers
Provoke or lure, my lids I close,
And draw a cowl about my ears.
"At The Gate Of The Convent" by Alfred Austin
When God, provoked with daring crimes,
Scourges the madness of the times,
He turns their fields to barren sand,
And dries the rivers from the land.
"Psalm 107 last part" by Isaac Watts

In news:

Sandy provokes largest preemptive public transportation shutdown.
'The Provoked Wife' onstage in Ojai.
Thoughts on Media and Celebrity, Provoked By the "Guidelines" for Covering the Washington Post's Watergate Anniversary.
It's possible that, as it has before, Greenpeace was deliberately provoking Apple.
Mass Effect 3 Ending ' Provoked A Bigger Fan Reaction Than Any Other' In Video Game History.
In Texas, Perry's Vaccine Mandate Provoked Anger.
Culture Connoisseurs consistently offer thought- provoking , timely comments on the arts, lifestyle and entertainment.
Washingtologists consistently post thought- provoking , timely comments on events, communities, and trends in the Washington area.
Christians provoked at Northern Illinois Women's Center.
CHICAGO — A father and son contend they were provoked before bursting onto the field at a baseball game and attacking the first base coach of the Kansas City Royals.
Painting Provoked a Public Scandal.
It was a needlessly headline-provoking statement, Favre's specialty.
Criticism of news anchor provokes weighty issues.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 9 — The host of the 2007 All-Star Game can be charming, thought-provoking and funny.
Rockport Film Festival screens range from quirky to 'thought provoking' flicks.

In science:

This means that the effective number of d-band electrons involved directly in excitations provoking the stopping process increases with the pro jectile velocity.
Electronic stopping power in gold: The role of d electrons and the H/He anomaly
The question provoked the response of the PWDs to know how far they are knowledgeable on their rights.
Mathematical Analysis of the Problems faced by the People With Disabilities (PWDs)
Stanton [MS-2] found a way to circumvent the analysis of orbital integrals in that they used higher supersymmetry arguments to provoke a cancellation in the terms of higher rank.
Geometric Zeta Functions, $L^2$-Theory, and Compact Shimura Manifolds
The remarkable success of NIBA in predicting the correct value of α∗ c provokes questions about the general quality of such a simple approximation for the full range of α. A convenient tool to investigate this issue is the real-time quantum Monte Carlo simulation method .
Crossover from coherent to incoherent dynamics in damped quantum systems
The angle β serves as a link with the innermost workings of the active galaxy – either as the memory of the activity-provoking event, or as a diagnostic for the structure of the accretion disk.
An Investigation into the Geometry of Seyfert Galaxies