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 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.
Obey his voice, provoke him not. --Ex. xxiii.
Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath. --Eph.
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live. --Milton.
Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust? --Gray.
To the poet the meaning is what he pleases to make it,
what it provokes in his own soul. -- J.
Syn: To irritate; arouse; stir up; awake; excite; incite;
anger. See Irritate.