The definition of provoke is to push something to happen, or to annoy.
An example of provoke is to insult someone until they want to fight.
- to excite to some action or feeling
- to anger, irritate, or annoy
- to stir up (action or feeling)
- to call forth; evoke: to provoke a smile
Origin of provokeMiddle English provoken ; from Middle French provoquer ; from Classical Latin provocare, to call forth ; from pro-, pro- + vocare, to call ; from vox, voice
transitive verbpro·voked, pro·vok·ing, pro·vokes
- To incite to anger or resentment: taunts that provoked their rivals.
- To stir to action or feeling: a remark that provoked me to reconsider.
- To give rise to; bring about: a miscue that provoked laughter; news that provoked an uproar.
- To bring about deliberately; induce: provoke a fight.
Origin of provokeMiddle English provoken, from Old French provoquer, from Latin pr&omacron;vocare, to challenge : pr&omacron;–, forth; see pro–1 + vocare, to call; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present provokes, present participle provoking, simple past and past participle provoked)
- to cause someone to become annoyed or angry.
- Don't provoke the dog; it may try to bite you.
- to bring about a reaction.