provoke


provoke
provoke 1 Provoke, excite, stimulate, pique, quicken, galvanize can all mean to rouse one into doing or feeling something or to call something into existence by so rousing a person.
Provoke stresses a power in the agent or agency sufficient to produce such an effect, but it is often the least explicit of these terms as to the nature or character of that power and may imply nothing more than the effecting of the stated result
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it is not in .. . the emotions provoked by particular events in his life, that the poet is in any way remarkable or interesting— T. S. Eliot

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inoculate you with that disease ... in order to provoke you to resist it as the mud provokes the cat to wash itself— Shaw

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his candor provoked a storm of controversy— Times Lit. Sup.

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Excite carries so strong an implication of a rousing that stirs up, moves profoundly, or serves as a challenge to one's powers that the term is often used merely in the sense of to rouse in any of these ways
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the ideas which excited my own generation— M

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a city beautiful enough to delight the romantic, picturesque enough to excite the jaded— Cassidy

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Often, however, excite adds to these implications those found in provoke, and thereby becomes a more explicit or richer word than the latter by suggesting the powerful or stirring nature of the agent or agency and the degree or intensity of the activity stirred up
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the curiosity excited by his long absence burst forth in . . . very direct questions— Austen

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the ruler's rivals, driven to outrage or excited to great envy, can topple governments built on stilts— Flora Lewis

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Stimulate suggests a provoking or exciting by or more often as if by a prick, a spur, or a goad; sometimes therefore it connotes a rousing out of lethargy, indifference, inaction, or inactivity, or a bringing forth into play something that is latent, dormant, or quiescent
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the stupidity of the opposition stimulated him, and made him resolute— Mencken

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I have always believed that it is better to stimulate than to correct, to fortify rather than to punish— Benson

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Often stimulate specifically implies excitement or reexcitement of interest, especially of an intellectual interest
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some subjects, which are remarkably stimulating to the mind of the pupil, are neglected, because they are not well adapted for examinations— Inge

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it's stimulating to be outside the law. It makes you look sharp, it simplifies the day's job— Wouk

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Pique, a term of more restricted application, suggests provocation or stimulation by or as if by something that pricks or irritates
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a show of secrecy always piques her curiosity

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piqued ... by what he considered to be a premature disclosure of the plan— Armbrister

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Quicken implies a stimulation of life, vigor, energy, or activity with consequent beneficial results
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the mistress which I serve quickens what's dead— Shak.

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with his feeling for history quickened and sharpened, he was to find another stimulus to follow up this interest of his boyhood— Brooks

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Galvanize suggests a highly artificial stimulating or quickening, especially of something old, or stiff, or dying
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he seemed a mere autom-aton, galvanized into moving and speaking— Hardy

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galvanize the government into vehement and extraordinary preparation— Sir Winston Churchill

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Analogous words: arouse, rouse, *stir: *thrill, electrify, enthuse: *incite, instigate, foment
2 *irritate, exasperate, nettle, aggravate, rile, peeve
Analogous words: affront, *offend, insult, outrage: *anger, incense, madden: agitate, upset, perturb (see DISCOMPOSE)
Antonyms: gratify

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Provoke — Pro*voke , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Provoked}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Provoking}.] [F. provoquer, L. provocare to call forth; pro forth + vocare to call, fr. vox, vocis, voice, cry, call. See {Voice}.] To call forth; to call into being or action; esp., to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • provoke — pro·voke /prə vōk/ vt pro·voked, pro·vok·ing 1: to incite to anger 2: to provide the needed stimulus for pro·vok·er n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • provoke — [prə vōk′, prōvōk′] vt. provoked, provoking [ME provoken < MFr provoquer < L provocare, to call forth < pro , PRO 2 + vocare, to call < vox, VOICE] 1. to excite to some action or feeling 2. to anger, irritate, or annoy 3 …   English World dictionary

  • provoke — [v1] make angry abet, abrade, affront, aggravate, anger, annoy, bother, bug*, chafe, enrage, exasperate, exercise, foment, fret, gall*, get*, get on one’s nerves*, get under one’s skin*, grate, hit where one lives*, incense, incite, inflame,… …   New thesaurus

  • Provoke — Pro*voke , v. i. 1. To cause provocation or anger. [1913 Webster] 2. To appeal. Note: [A Latinism] [Obs.] Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • provoke — early 15c., from O.Fr. provoker (14c., Fr. provoquer), from L. provocare call forth, challenge, from pro forth (see PRO (Cf. pro )) + vocare to call (see VOICE (Cf. voice)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • provoke — ► VERB 1) stimulate or cause (a strong or unwelcome reaction or emotion) in someone. 2) deliberately annoy or anger. 3) incite to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger. ORIGIN Latin provocare to challenge …   English terms dictionary

  • provoke — pro|voke [prəˈvəuk US ˈvouk] v [T] [Date: 1300 1400; : French; Origin: provoquer, from Latin provocare, from vocare to call ] 1.) to cause a reaction or feeling, especially a sudden one →↑provocation provoke a protest/an outcry/criticism etc ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • provoke */*/ — UK [prəˈvəʊk] / US [prəˈvoʊk] verb [transitive] Word forms provoke : present tense I/you/we/they provoke he/she/it provokes present participle provoking past tense provoked past participle provoked 1) to deliberately try to make someone angry He… …   English dictionary

  • provoke — transitive verb (provoked; provoking) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French *provoker, provocher, from Latin provocare, from pro forth + vocare to call, from voc , vox voice more at pro , voice Date: 14th century 1. a. archaic to arouse to …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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