from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Troubling the nerves or peace of mind, as by repeated vexations: a provoking delay at the airport.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of provoke.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the power or quality of exciting resentment; tending to awaken passion or vexation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the power or quality of exciting resentment; tending to stir up passion; irritating; vexatious: as, provoking words; provoking treatment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. causing or tending to cause anger or resentment


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Being thought-provoking is its point, and a useful but limited end in itself.

    Matthew Yglesias » A People’s History of the United States

  • Faux news representatives are real world Pied Pipers of Hamelin provoking and leading frightened and irrational Republican lemmings to financial/medical ruin and self-assisted health care suicide.

    Think Progress » Tea party leaders say they would ‘absolutely’ abolish Social Security.

  • But what I said was much more precise (and worked marvelously in provoking these guys to make fools of themselves, not that this is difficult): as a matter of science, the way an exception proofs a rule is precisely a test: if it is true that objects fall at the same speed whether they are heavy or light, then how can it also be true that a feather falls more slowly?

    Matthew Yglesias » For Democrats, Even a 2010 Win Will Feel Like a Loss

  • But, though Rhee can turn on the charm when she needs to, she has at times seemed reckless in provoking teachers and even parents.

    The Lightning Rod

  • They were a major catalyst in provoking the other tribes to resist the Spanish settlement and exploitation of Indian lands.

    The indigenous past of Zacatecas

  • This is immorality in provoking a war. (the takedown of the brutal dictator was an afterthought only dragged up reluctantly to a primary purpose up after the first two reasons were convincingly shown to be false after the invasion).


  • These actions, which have killed numerous Israeli civilians, terrorized the people of Israel and destroyed many cities, played a central role in provoking the current crisis, and do nothing but harm the cause of Palestinian and Lebanese independence and democracy.

    Israel-Lebanon Conflict

  • Design isn't art, where being vague and thought-provoking is okay.

    Archive 2004-05-01

  • If police officers interview hundreds of damaged young people with long records of deception and dishonesty, with the aim of gathering allegations of abuse against those who once cared for them, it would be surprising if they did not succeed in provoking a large number of false allegations - particularly when it is known that such allegations can result in thousands of pounds being paid out by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

    Archive 2004-02-01

  • The terrorists of 9/11 succeeded in provoking the US government to attack its own citizens.

    Smart Mobs » Blog Archive » Smartmobbing San Francisco antiwar activists


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