• WordNet 3.6
    • n provoker someone who deliberately foments trouble "she was the instigator of their quarrel"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n provoker One who or that which provokes, excites, promotes, or stirs up; one who stirs up anger or other passion.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Provoker one who, or that which, provokes, causes, or promotes
    • ***


  • 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.”
  • Epictetus
    “It is not he who gives abuse that affronts, but the view that we take of it as insulting; so that when one provokes you it is your own opinion which is provoking.”
  • 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.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. provoquer—L. provocāre, pro, forth, vocāre, to call.


In literature:

It was, therefore, necessary to await the issue of another day, rather than to provoke a night battle in the streets.
"The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume II.(of III) 1566-74" by John Lothrop Motley
Proud, defiant, she confronted the howling mob, which she had so wilfully provoked.
"I Will Repay" by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
He provoked one by his contradictory indiscretions.
"Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad
And what provokes me most of all, is the knave's composed insolence.
"Peveril of the Peak" by Sir Walter Scott
I'll manage such little provoking things as you, I warrant ye!
"Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded" by Samuel Richardson
This outbreak did good, and Luc Baste was arrested for provoking disorder.
"Carnac's Folly, Complete" by Gilbert Parker
You say things on purpose to provoke me.
"Mary Anerley" by R. D. Blackmore
She did not provoke them.
"Lucretia, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
When you are in these provoking moods there is always some grievance lurking at the back of your mind.
"Three Dramas" by Björnstjerne M. Björnson
Ovid suggested that he might have been provoked by a cat in the conservatory.
"Heart and Science" by Wilkie Collins

In poetry:

"Provok'd by villains, one I slew,
And own him rashly slain;
Hence to thy clemency I flew,
My pardon to obtain!"
"The Fatal Horse" by William Hayley
If I had e'er provoked them first,
Or once abused my foe,
Then let him tread my life to dust,
And lay mine honor low.
"Psalm 7" by Isaac Watts
Now they believe his word
While rocks with rivers flow;
Now with their lusts provoke the Lord,
And he reduced them low.
"Psalm 106 part 2" by Isaac Watts
He rules by his resistless might:
Will rebel mortals dare
Provoke th' Eternal to the fight,
And tempt that dreadful war?
"Psalm 66 part 1" by Isaac Watts
And each with other, sans condition,
Held parley brief or long,
Without provoking rash suspicion
Of marriage or of wrong.
"Two Visions" by Alfred Austin
Though Mave of Croghan had given me food,
Even from her lips, though all of good
That the heart can wish or wealth can give
Were offered to me, there does not live
A king or queen on the earth for whom
I would do thee ill or provoke thy doom.
"Ferdiah; Or, The Fight At The Ford" by Denis Florence MacCarthy

In news:

Bret Stephens had a thought-provoking column Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal in which he recanted his previous support for the Gaza pullout.
Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pup can bite if provoked.
Group provokes reaction with billboard doubting global warming.
NOT AFRAID TO PROVOKE Barack Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years.
A Stealth PR Campaign on Behalf of Gibraltar Provokes Existential Crisis for Wikipedia.
GOP debate's bell provokes a different response from dogs.
The Playboy Club, the new NBC drama series that premieres Monday at 10 pm EST, has already provoked a salvo of pre-emptive controversy.
Bushmen Elders Resist Relocation in Botswana," was informative and thought-provoking, but unfortunately he used the term "Bushmen" throughout.
Pakistan has denied reports that its troops fired at NATO forces, provoking the alliance air strike that killed 24 soldiers at two military posts on the border with Afghanistan.
"Dos Pocitos" is a moving, thought-provoking border tale.
Study of two great minds thought-provoking .
HotCity's 'Oleanna' is tense, thought provoking.
5 Thought-Provoking Food Videos, Part II: Lessons From Bed-Stuy.
Thought-provoking , meaningful film.
Exploration of GOP rhetoric about Obama provokes allegations of reverse racism, while some readers admit wrestling with bias that may be unintentional.

In science:

The implications as a tool for probing the intergalactic medium are thought-provoking.
Gamma-Ray Bursts
Berger and Sellke , in a thought provoking article, gave analytical foundations to the thesis in Edwards, Lindman and Savage that the frequentist practice of rejecting a sharp null at a traditional 5% level amounts to a rush to judgment against the null hypothesis.
On the false discovery rates of a frequentist: Asymptotic expansions
Sect. 5.3 on dark energy and its equation of state provoked dissappointment in an uncited (but very highly regarded) colleague.
Astrophysics in 2006
This finally leads to the major technical challenges: How to select a set of worst case tests that can provoke the worst case variation against specification? How can we automate this process intelligently? This paper solves the problem efficiently using computational intelligence techniques with industrial ATE.
Computational Intelligence Characterization Method of Semiconductor Device
Mazeh and Shaham (1979) suggested, therefore, that in certain configurations the third distant companion can provoke the spiral-in of the close binary at a rate that can be derived by averaging Equation 7.6.
Observational Evidence for Tidal Interaction in Close Binary Systems