provoke
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /pɹəˈvəʊk/
  • (America) IPA: /pɹəˈvoʊk/

Verb

provoke (provokes, present participle provoking; past and past participle provoked)

  1. (transitive) To cause someone to become annoyed or angry.
    Don't provoke the dog; it may try to bite you.
    • 1577, Raphaell Holinshed, “[The Historie of Englande.]”, in The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande […], volume I, London: Imprinted [by Henry Bynneman] for Iohn Harrison, OCLC 55195564 ↗, page 26 ↗, columns 1–2:
      In the meane time it chaunced, that Marcus Papyrius ſtroke one of the Galles on the heade with his ſtaffe, because he preſumed to ſtroke his bearde: with whiche iniurie the Gaulle beeing prouoked, ſlue Papyrius (as he ſate) with hys ſworde, and therewith the ſlaughter being begun with one, all the reſidue of thoſe auncient fatherly men as they ſat in theyr Chayres were ſlaine and cruelly murthered.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Ephesians 6:4 ↗:
      Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.
  2. (transitive) To bring about a reaction.
    • To the poet the meaning is what he pleases to make it, what it provokes in his own soul.
  3. (obsolete) To appeal#Verb|appeal.
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