English

Definition of agent provocateur noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

agent provocateur

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˌæʒɒ̃ prəˌvɒkəˈtɜː(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌɑːʒɑ̃ː proʊˌvɑːkəˈtɜːr//
 
(also provocateur) (pl. agents provocateurs
BrE BrE//ˌæʒɒ̃ prəˌvɒkəˈtɜː(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˌɑːʒɑ̃ː proʊˌvɑːkəˈtɜːr//
 
)
(from French)
 
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a person who is employed by a government to encourage people in political groups to do something illegal so that they can be arrested Word Origin late 19th cent.: French, literally ‘provocative agent’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: agent provocateur