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tr.v. pro·voked, pro·vok·ing, pro·vokes
1. To incite to anger or resentment: taunts that provoked their rivals.
2. To stir to action or feeling: a remark that provoked me to reconsider.
3. To give rise to; bring about: a miscue that provoked laughter; news that provoked an uproar.
4. To bring about deliberately; induce: provoke a fight.

[Middle English provoken, from Old French provoquer, from Latin prōvocāre, to challenge : prō-, forth; see pro-1 + vocāre, to call; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: provoke, incite, excite, stimulate, arouse, rouse, stir1
These verbs mean to move a person to action or feeling or to summon something into being by so moving a person. Provoke often merely states the consequences produced: "Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath" (Shakespeare)."a situation which in the country would have provoked meetings" (John Galsworthy).
To incite is to provoke and urge on: Members of the opposition incited the insurrection. Excite implies a strong or emotional reaction: The movie will fail—the plot excites little interest or curiosity. Stimulate suggests renewed vigor of action as if by spurring or goading: "Our vigilance was stimulated by our finding traces of a large ... encampment" (Francis Parkman).
To arouse means to awaken, as from inactivity or apathy; rouse means the same, but more strongly implies vigorous or emotional excitement: "In a democratic society like ours, relief must come through an aroused popular conscience that sears the conscience of the people's representatives" (Felix Frankfurter)."The oceangoing steamers ... roused in him wild and painful longings" (Arnold Bennett).
To stir is to cause activity, strong but usually agreeable feelings, trouble, or commotion: "It was him as stirred up th' young woman to preach last night" (George Eliot)."I have seldom been so ... stirred by any piece of writing" (Mark Twain). See Also Synonyms at annoy.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.provoked - incited, especially deliberately, to angerprovoked - incited, especially deliberately, to anger; "aggravated by passive resistance"; "the provoked animal attacked the child"
angry - feeling or showing anger; "angry at the weather"; "angry customers"; "an angry silence"; "sending angry letters to the papers"
References in classic literature ?
Not a single Indian war has yet been occasioned by aggressions of the present federal government, feeble as it is; but there are several instances of Indian hostilities having been provoked by the improper conduct of individual States, who, either unable or unwilling to restrain or punish offenses, have given occasion to the slaughter of many innocent inhabitants.
3) a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults;
To confess the truth, I am afraid Mr Jones was one of these; for though he was attacked and violently belaboured with the aforesaid weapon, he could not be provoked to make any resistance; but in a most cowardly manner applied, with many entreaties, to his antagonist to desist from pursuing her blows; in plain English, he only begged her with the utmost earnestness to hear him; but before he could obtain his request, my landlord himself entered into the fray, and embraced that side of the cause which seemed to stand very little in need of assistance.
Such excess of virtue and good-nature on the part of a ship always provoked my mistrust.
Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear preoccupateth it; nay, we read, after Otho the emperor had slain himself, pity (which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die, out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest sort of followers.
MUZAFFARABAD -- After a saddening incident of two deaths during Azad Kashmir elections, Barrister Sultan Mahmood on Thursday started infuriating workers and provoked people to open fire instead of teaching them about tolerance in politics.
To brazil she will go often, and hopefully to many other places to accumulate richness of knowledge, of sites, of feelings, and of meaning; to be provoked by many and, perhaps--who knows?
and settlers had provoked the students, according to the local school principal
Let us look at some of the recent aspects where bigotry may have been provoked.
Bulgaria's new PM, appointed by parliament May 29, has provoked the ire of parts of the public by making a number of questionable appointments a most notably that of national security head Delyan Peevski.
htm) Innocence of Muslims , the US-produced film that has provoked angry demonstrations worldwide.
The FIR mentions that Kejriwal provoked sloganeering protesters marching towards the Prime Minister's residence.