Definition of provoke verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    provoke

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊk//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they provoke
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊk//
     
    he / she / it provokes
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊks//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊks//
     
    past simple provoked
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊkt//
     
    past participle provoked
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊkt//
     
    -ing form provoking
    BrE BrE//prəˈvəʊkɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//prəˈvoʊkɪŋ//
     
    Anger
     
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  1. 1provoke something to cause a particular reaction or have a particular effect The announcement provoked a storm of protest. The article was intended to provoke discussion. Dairy products may provoke allergic reactions in some people.
  2. 2provoke somebody (into something/into doing something) | provoke somebody to do something to say or do something that you know will annoy somebody so that they react in an angry way synonym goad The lawyer claimed his client was provoked into acts of violence by the defendant. Be careful what you say—he's easily provoked. See related entries: Anger
  3. Word Origin late Middle English (also in the sense ‘invoke, summon’): from Old French provoquer, from Latin provocare ‘challenge’, from pro- ‘forth’ + vocare ‘to call’.Extra examples She had been trying to provoke her sister into an argument. The report is likely to provoke discussion of this issue. The suggestion inevitably provoked outrage from student leaders. Their laughter provoked him to anger. Be careful what you say—he’s easily provoked. She laughed aloud, which provoked him to fury. Such a decision may provoke a backlash from their supporters. The company was provoked into issuing a denial. The decision to close the factory has provoked fury. The lawyer claimed that his client was provoked into acts of violence by the defendant. The minister does not wish to provoke further demonstrations. The prison guards deliberately provoke the political prisoners. What had she done to provoke his wrath?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: provoke