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Definition of Provoke


  1. To call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to incense to action, a faculty or passion, as love, hate, or ambition; hence, commonly, to incite, as a person, to action by a challenge, by taunts, or by defiance; to exasperate; to irritate; to offend intolerably; to cause to retaliate.
  2. To cause provocation or anger.
  3. To appeal. [A Latinism]

Provoke Quotations

We provoke a shark every time we enter the water where sharks happen to be, for we forget: The ocean is not our territory - it's theirs.
Peter Benchley

I am sorry to think that you do not get a man's most effective criticism until you provoke him. Severe truth is expressed with some bitterness.
Henry David Thoreau

And it will fall out as in a complication of diseases, that by applying a remedy to one sore, you will provoke another; and that which removes the one ill symptom produces others.
Thomas More

I think cinema should provoke thoughts, sure, but using it as I soapbox I think is the wrong place. I never want to be part of something like that, where there's an agenda there that's not about telling a story, where its someone getting on a soapbox and preaching their own beliefs onto somebody.
Jeremy Renner

On two occasions I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
Charles Babbage
More "Provoke" Quotations

Provoke Translations

provoke in Danish is udfordre
provoke in Dutch is aanstoken, ophitsen, irriteren
provoke in French is chiffonent, chiffoner, irriter, provoquons
provoke in German is provoziere, provozieren, herausfordern
provoke in Italian is sfidare, esacerbare, cagionare
provoke in Portuguese is provoque
provoke in Spanish is retar, pinchar, provocar
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