verb (used with object), pro·voked, pro·vok·ing.
- to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex.
- to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity): The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
- to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
- to give rise to, induce, or bring about: What could have provoked such an incident?
- Obsolete. to summon.
- not provoked by anything done or said
- to anger or infuriate
- to cause to act or behave in a certain manner; incite or stimulate
- to promote (certain feelings, esp anger, indignation, etc) in a person
- obsolete to summon
adj.1580s, from un- (1) “not” + past participle of provoke. v.late 14c., from Old French provoker, provochier (12c., Modern French provoquer) and directly from Latin provocare “call forth, challenge,” from pro- “forth” (see pro-) + vocare “to call” (see voice (n.)). Related: Provoked; provoking.