Definition of provocative adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//prəˈvɒkətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvɑːkətɪv//
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  1. 1intended to make people angry or upset; intended to make people argue about something a provocative remark He doesn't really mean that—he's just being deliberately provocative. The book’s epilogue is deliberately provocative. See related entries: Anger
  2. 2intended to make somebody sexually excited a provocative smile She was dressed in a highly provocative way.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French provocatif, -ive, from late Latin provocativus, from provocat- ‘called forth, challenged’, from the verb provocare ‘challenge’, from pro- ‘forth’ + vocare ‘to call’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: provocative