verb (used with object), pro·voked, pro·vok·ing.

  1. to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex.
  2. to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity): The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
  3. to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
  4. to give rise to, induce, or bring about: What could have provoked such an incident?
  5. Obsolete. to summon.


  1. not provoked by anything done or said

verb (tr)

  1. to anger or infuriate
  2. to cause to act or behave in a certain manner; incite or stimulate
  3. to promote (certain feelings, esp anger, indignation, etc) in a person
  4. obsolete to summon

adj.1580s, from un- (1) “not” + past participle of provoke. v.late 14c., from Old French provoker, provochier (12c., Modern French provoquer) and directly from Latin provocare “call forth, challenge,” from pro- “forth” (see pro-) + vocare “to call” (see voice (n.)). Related: Provoked; provoking.

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