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Provoke   Listen
verb
Provoke  v. t.  (past & past part. provoked; pres. part. provoking)  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." "Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." "Such acts Of contumacy will provoke the Highest To make death in us live." "Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust?" "To the poet the meaning is what he pleases to make it, what it provokes in his own soul."
Synonyms: To irritate; arouse; stir up; awake; excite; incite; anger. See Irritate.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Provoke" Quotes from Famous Books



... time to bewaile his death, that after the residue of a few months, the whole yeare may be expired, which thing toucheth as well my shame as your wholsome profit, lest peradventure by your speed and quicke marriage we should justly raise and provoke the spirit of my husband to worke our destruction. Howbeit, Thrasillus was not contented with this promise, but more and more came upon her: Insomuch, that she was enforced to speake to him in this manner: My friend Thrasillus, if thou be so contented ...
— The Golden Asse • Lucius Apuleius

... took the final step of declaring war, it is now known that Austria had done much to provoke it and nothing to prevent it. The young Emperor refused to withdraw a word of the provocative despatch; and in his letter to Thugut at Brussels, he declared he was weary of the state of things in France and had decided to act and put an end to it; "that he should ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... miss?" says the old man, with assumed reproach. "'Tis well I mind of poor Miss Katherine herself,—the soft tongue she had in her head, an' never a cross word out of her, save to Nelly Doolin—an' she was the divil herself, savin' your presence, miss, and enough to provoke all ...
— Rossmoyne • Unknown

... we pray to God only because we have made Him in our own image. We treat Him like a pasha, like a sultan whom one may provoke and appease. ...
— Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary • Voltaire

... overhang the night with a thick fog, and lead these quarrelsome lovers so astray in the dark, that they shall not be able to find each other. Counterfeit each of their voices to the other, and with bitter taunts provoke them to follow you, while they think it is their rival's tongue they hear. See you do this, till they are so weary they can go no farther; and when you find they are asleep, drop the juice of this other flower into Lysander's eyes, and when he awakes he will forget ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... princess' words and began to apologize. But he thought to himself that if Pan Mikolaj of Dlugolas had a grown-up son, then sometime he would challenge the son and would not forgive Mikolaj for calling her "bush." Now he determined to be quiet while in the king's castle and not to provoke anybody, only in case of ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... and by humor, or rendered impressive by the striking way in which they express thought, e.g. "The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion." A pun, digression, or out-of-the-way allusion may occasionally provoke readers, but onlookers have frequently noticed that few wrinkle their brows while reading his critical essays, and that a pleased expression, such as photographers like, is almost certain to appear. He has the rare faculty of ...
— History of American Literature • Reuben Post Halleck

... Nora, quickly. "Oh!" Then, recovering herself the next minute, she said coolly, "Well, I'm perfectly willing to go; for that matter" (with that superior air that does so provoke us), "some of us ought to have gone long ago, and called on the Ervengs,—Miss Marston says so, too,—to apologise for and explain the, to say the least very peculiar, conduct of some other members of our family." ...
— We Ten - Or, The Story of the Roses • Lyda Farrington Kraus

... authority. The British still pressed for the payment of the one million, whilst the Spaniards declared they possessed no more. The Austin friars were ordered to keep the natives peaceable if they did not wish to provoke hostilities against themselves. At length, the British, convinced of the futility of decrees, determined to sally out with their forces, and 500 men under Thomas Backhouse went up the Pasig River to secure a free ...
— The Philippine Islands • John Foreman

... intention had been to out-stay Nicky. And as long as Nicky's approaches were so delicate as to provoke only delicate evasions, Brodrick stayed. But in the end poor Nicky turned desperate and put it to him point-blank. "Was there, or was there not to be a place for ...
— The Creators - A Comedy • May Sinclair

... lively expression; he knew that a confession of his true situation would furnish Pickle with an opportunity to make reprisals upon him, with intolerable triumph; and that, by a downright refusal to supply his wants, he would for ever forfeit his friendship and esteem, and might provoke him to take ample vengeance for his sordid behaviour, by exposing him, in his native colours, to the resentment of those whom he had so long deceived. These considerations kept him some time in a most rancorous state of suspense, which Peregrine affected to misinterpret, ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... servants," she said coldly and clearly, "who often provoke me. But I pardon them because they know no better. It seems that like allowance cannot be made for you. However," she smiled icily, "I shall not complain of you to my father, which assurance will ...
— Prisoners of Hope - A Tale of Colonial Virginia • Mary Johnston

... cartel fell into my hands it lacked but an hour of sunset. The beach was alive with angry rollers, while the Termagant was still under easy sail, hovering up and down the coast before my factory, evidently meditating the propriety of another pill to provoke my notice. ...
— Captain Canot - or, Twenty Years of an African Slaver • Brantz Mayer

... of Pope's poems led to quarrels, and some were written with the desire to provoke them, one of his most famous poems was, on the other hand, written to bring peace between two angry families. This poem is called the Rape of the Lock—rape meaning theft, and the lock not the lock of a door, but a ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... provoke me beyond anythin', Copernicus Droop! Ef I'd a-knowed the kind o' way we'd had to live—why, ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... together, in a stone morter, with so much Sugar, and Rose-water as is fit, and strayne them through a cleane cloath into the liquor, and drink thereof at night going to bed, and in the night, if this doth not sufficiently provoke sleep, then make some more of the same liquor, and boyle in the same the beads, or ...
— A Book of Fruits and Flowers • Anonymous

... with the honest well-gotten estate of this innocent gentleman, to be a moth and a caterpillar among it, and bring the judgments of heaven upon him, and upon what he has, for my sake? Shall my wickedness blast his comforts? Shall I be fire in his flax? and be a means to provoke heaven to curse his blessings? God forbid! I'll keep them ...
— The Fortunate Mistress (Parts 1 and 2) • Daniel Defoe

... the interests of your king and brother continues to give you restless nights, and a generous emulation for your own glory. You are still meditating on new labours for yourself, and new triumphs for the nation; and when our former enemies again provoke us, you will again solicit fate to provide you another navy to overcome, and another admiral to be slain. You will then lead forth a nation eager to revenge their past injuries; and, like the Romans, inexorable to peace, till they have fully vanquished. Let our enemies make their ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) - Almanzor And Almahide, Marriage-a-la-Mode, The Assignation • John Dryden

... been stern and unbending, as far as the man was concerned. And as regarded Mary, he did feel sure of her. If there was to be weakness displayed, it would be in himself. Mary would be true to her promise;—true to her faith, true to the arrangement made for her own life. She would not provoke him with arguments as to her love for John Gordon; and, as Mrs Baggett had assured him, even in her thoughts she would not go astray. If it were but for that word, Mrs Baggett should not be allowed to leave ...
— An Old Man's Love • Anthony Trollope

... other. Guess it isn't hurt much. Didn't mean to hit him, any way. He does provoke me so," muttered Jack, very red and shamefaced as his mother picked up the book and laid it silently on the table before him. He did not know what to do with himself, and was thankful for the stamps still left him, finding great relief in making ...
— Jack and Jill • Louisa May Alcott

... gentlemen by whom it was led, might, it was supposed, atone for the personal deficiencies of their chief; and as the Campbells had already severely humbled several of the neighbouring tribes, it was supposed these would not readily again provoke an encounter with a body ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... king wrote a poem yesterday, which he read aloud to me this morning. He declares that there is one bad rhyme in his poem, and that it tortures him. I tried in vain to reassure him. I know that the rhyme is incorrect, but you will provoke him beyond measure if you tell him so. He has tried in vain to correct it, without impairing the sense of the passage. I have, therefore, withheld all criticism, and read to him some verses from La Fontaine, where the same fault is to be found. I have ...
— Berlin and Sans-Souci • Louise Muhlbach

... reply. The following passages in Johnson's writings are to the same effect:—'I am inclined to believe that few attacks either of ridicule or invective make much noise, but by the help of those that they provoke.' Piozzi Letters ii. 289. 'It is very rarely that an author is hurt by his critics. The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket.' Ib p. 110. 'The writer who thinks his works formed for duration mistakes his interest when he mentions his enemies. ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... But John don't like me to drive anything more sporting than a pony-carriage, and he refused point blank, which, to say the least of it, was brutal on his part. If I hadn't thought it would make me sick, I should have liked to smoke, on purpose to provoke him. We did the distance with three minutes to spare, and as we pulled up in front of the Castle Hotel, I was proud to hear the admiration our tout ensemble elicited from a knot of idlers lounging round the door. "'Ere's a spicy set-out, Bill," said one. "Crickey! vot a pretty ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... the 'hungry' Bavius' angry stroke Awake resentment, or your rage provoke; But pitying his distress, let virtue shine, And giving each your bounty, 'let him dine'; For thus retain'd, as learned counsel can, 5 Each case, however bad, he'll new japan; And by a quick transition, plainly show 'Twas ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith • Oliver Goldsmith

... a shining star to guide, instead of a beacon-fire to warn. "No," he would have said, if he could have anticipated this most ill-chosen, however well-intentioned, tribute, "spare me this terrible irony. Do not provoke the inevitable retort. Say of me, if you must say anything, that I was not a bad man, though an erring one; that I was kindly disposed towards my fellow-creatures; that I did some good in my generation, and was able and willing to ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... hundred canting speeches full of oily words, will move me? I thank you for disclosing your schemes, which I am now prepared for. You have not the man to deal with that you think; try me! and remember that I spit upon your fair words and false dealings, and dare you—provoke you—taunt you—to do to me the very worst ...
— The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby • Charles Dickens

... gets the 'silence,' even for a day, he'll be so furious that he'll do half a dozen fool things that I can provoke him into. Then he'll go so far, in his wrath, that the class will cut him for good and all, and he'll buy his ...
— Dick Prescotts's Fourth Year at West Point - Ready to Drop the Gray for Shoulder Straps • H. Irving Hancock

... time, old dames hinted that if the lady continued to keep tryst in the romantic secluded spots of her father's domains with such a fine-looking soldier as Campbell, she would provoke the goddess supposed to preside over love affairs, and most likely entitle herself to a rush-ring only on her wedding-day, instead of the customary gold one. But the evil prophetesses were wrong for once. Seldom did a recruiting party forward more stalwart soldiers to headquarters ...
— The Mysteries of All Nations • James Grant

... had known how to acquire honest wives, aye, and keep them so. There had never been in the de Wissant family any of those ugly scandals which stain other clans, and which are remembered over generations in French provincial towns. Those scandals which, if they provoke a laugh and cruel sneer when discussed by the indifferent, are recalled with long faces and anxious whisperings when a young girl's future is being discussed, and which make the honourable marriage of ...
— Studies in love and in terror • Marie Belloc Lowndes

... the world. The Americans do just as they like, and no one is ever surprised. The explanation is quite simple: "They are Americans." I have often noticed little faults of manners or breeding, which would shock one in a representative of an older civilisation, pass quite unnoticed, or merely provoke a smile ...
— My First Years As A Frenchwoman, 1876-1879 • Mary King Waddington

... and gentle dignity; her innocence, sweet as the light in her blue eyes, set him dreaming again as he walked at her side, preoccupied, almost saddened, a little afraid that such happiness as was his should provoke ...
— Lorraine - A romance • Robert W. Chambers

... we were a strong and powerful nation and a dangerous enemy to provoke. England recognized the fact and acted accordingly. England entered the present war to protect small nations! Heaven save the mark! You surely read your history. Pray tell me something of England's policy in South ...
— A Straight Deal - or The Ancient Grudge • Owen Wister

... having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love, and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye ...
— The Book of Common Prayer - and The Scottish Liturgy • Church of England

... beautifully dressed and superbly built fellows, principally from Andalusia, got up precisely like Figaro in the opera. Theirs is the most delicate and graceful operation of the bull-fight. They take a pair of barbed darts, with little banners fluttering at their ends, and provoke the bull to rush at them. At the instant he reaches them, when it seems nothing can save them, they step aside and plant the banderillas in the neck of the bull. If the bull has been cowardly and sluggish, and the spectators have called for "fire," darts are used filled with ...
— Castilian Days • John Hay

... a charming little room—which I assumed to be a portion of the Princess' private suite—and was of the sort to provoke more early morning rides along the Old ...
— The Colonel of the Red Huzzars • John Reed Scott

... I have done to provoke some malignant enemy to destroy my peace by disturbing yours. But certainly a powerful motive must influence some one in continually renewing calumnies against me, and giving them a sufficient appearance of probability to impose on the man who has hitherto judged me worthy ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... country, from the labourer to the proprietor;—is there the intelligence, the heart, the principle, the common sense—any one element which could unite those members into a body for any high or noble end? They provoke each other to love and good works, or help to convert the world! Would it were so! ...
— Parish Papers • Norman Macleod

... bitterness he commented on Fox's previous eulogies of the Revolution, and finally there came the fatal words of severance. "It is indiscreet," he said, "at any period, but especially at my time of life, to provoke enemies, or give my friends occasion to desert me. Yet if my firm and steady adherence to the British Constitution place me in such a dilemma, I am ready to risk it, and with, my last words to exclaim, 'Fly from the French Constitution.'" Fox at this point ...
— Burke • John Morley

... have concluded to reopen the gate, and let things remain as they have been, at least for the present. These offensive measures only provoke anger, and never do any good." Bolton shook ...
— Lessons in Life, For All Who Will Read Them • T. S. Arthur

... strict and grave with them; and Catherine, on her part, had no idea why her father should be crosser and less patient in his ailing condition than he was in his prime. His peevish reproofs wakened in her a naughty delight to provoke him: she was never so happy as when we were all scolding her at once, and she defying us with her bold, saucy look, and her ready words; turning Joseph's religious curses into ridicule, baiting me, and doing just what her father hated most—showing how her pretended insolence, which ...
— Wuthering Heights • Emily Bronte

... happy event for either South Africa or for England. It would have left matters in almost the same condition as they had been before, and the millionaires, who were the real masters on the Rand, would have found a dozen pretexts to provoke a new quarrel with the Transvaal Government. Had the Boer Executive attempted to do away with the power of the concerns which ruled the gold mines and diamond fields, it would have courted a resistance ...
— Cecil Rhodes - Man and Empire-Maker • Princess Catherine Radziwill

... outrageous in its spirit, and so intolerable in its language, that, knowing something of Stanley's wild and truculent temper, he began to feel a little nervous about the explosion he was about to provoke. ...
— Wylder's Hand • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... boom of bees; the carol of birds, the flutter of balancing butterflies. Nature was very soothing, she was in one of her sweetest moods. The two friends were growing drowsy. Miss. Juno, if she at times betrayed a feminine fondness for argument, was certainly in no haste to provoke Paul to a further discussion of the quality of love or friendship; presently ...
— The Spinner's Book of Fiction • Various

... was not quite certain: and how could I say a word against it when I was the one to provoke Nipen? Now Rolf is safe, and Erica will be happy again, and I shall not feel as if everybody's eyes were upon me, and know that it is only out of kindness that they do not reproach me as having done all the mischief. I shall hold up my head again now, as some may think I have done all along: ...
— Feats on the Fiord - The third book in "The Playfellow" • Harriet Martineau

... offered by him on the 8th of the same month. In the next number of the paper the editor expresses the opinion that "the man, who, after reading this lucid exposition of British aggressions, can blame his own government—can accuse the administration of a want of forbearance, and a wish to provoke a war with England without cause, must be wilfully blind or perversely foolish." This recalls at once the circumstances of the time, shortly after the beginning of Madison's administration, and during the Embargo. Democracy was ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... that flatters," returned he, "it would tell a falsehood. A shrew can provoke a man who detests her. As to Miss Dundas, notwithstanding her parade of learning, she generally espouses the wrong side of the argument; and I may say with somebody, whose name I have forgotten, that any one who knows Diana Dundas never ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... I'll forbear. Ned is good to me, and I don't want to provoke him. I mean to be a good little wife to him, and I know he wants to be the best of ...
— Elsie's New Relations • Martha Finley

... such a spot is less apt to be suspected. He afterwards caused a detachment of Numidian cavalry to cross the Trebia with orders to advance at break of day as far as the very barriers of the enemy's camp, in order to provoke them to fight; and then to retreat and repass the river, in order to draw the Romans after them. What he had foreseen, came directly to pass. The fiery Sempronius immediately detached his whole cavalry against the Numidians, and then ...
— The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, • Charles Rollin

... with the gentle composure from which she had not departed since her return from town; and he added tentatively, as if to provoke her to a clearer expression of feeling: "I shall not be satisfied, of course, till I see for myself just how he feels—just how much, at bottom, this has affected him—since my own future relation to him will, as I have already told you, ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... think myself he'd follow us, we've fed him so well since he came in on us," Giraffe grumbled; for it certainly did provoke him to see a shaggy beast devouring good food that human beings could make use of. "Why, I had to get up from breakfast hungry because of him. The island for mine, if it's going to help us get rid of our star ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... in fact, I have been thinking about it all day; but even yet I don't know what to tell you. One moment I think the truth would merely provoke another act of violence; the next I feel that it must be made public regardless of consequences. As for its effect upon myself—you know I care very little what people ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... "if he did that deliberately, expecting you'd rake him fore and aft for it, it shows that he wants you to start something, don't it? An' my principle in a fight is to find out what the other feller wants and then not do it. He wants to provoke you. Don't let yourself be provoked or you'll play ...
— Doubloons—and the Girl • John Maxwell Forbes

... From their old graves, restored to living fame. And that last, signet passing all the rest, Our souls discharg'd by consummatum est. Here endless joy is their perpetual cheer Their exercise, sweet songs of many parts. Angels their choir, whose symphony to hear Is able to provoke conceiving hearts To misconceive of all enticing art The ditty praise, the subject is the Lord, That times their gladsome spirit to ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, No. 365 • Various

... sect entirely disappear from England after the execution of their scapegoat, but they do not seem to have been further molested for their opinions. The persecution of the Catholics was at its height, and at no time did professed atheism provoke the fierce hatred that Catholicism inspired. For obvious reasons many Catholics at this period were but indifferently instructed in their religion. Some to escape attendance at the English Church service unlawfully feigned infidelity. One man having ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... the first thinkers and writers of the country. He has that in his writings which will make him popular, and that which will make him permanent. It is unnecessary to say that a book so strongly marked by individuality as his is calculated to provoke criticism. It contains many things which will be severely assailed by those whose opinions on certain theories of government and society are in exact opposition to those of the author. Some positions, critical and ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848 • Various

... dreaded to involve Valancourt in obscurity and vain regret, which she saw, or thought she saw, must be the too certain consequence of a marriage in their present circumstances; and she acted, perhaps, with somewhat more than female fortitude, when she resolved to endure a present, rather than provoke a ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... Do we poor mortals cater for ourselves! To see him thus provoke her tenderness With tales of weakness and infirmity! I'd wager on ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth - Volume 1 of 8 • Edited by William Knight

... Majesty. If sometimes the commanders have inflicted injury or waged any war, it is because the malice of the natives is so great, that wherever they sally out in war, with their ambuscades and other treacheries they provoke the Spaniards to self-defense. If the latter go with the mailed hand, it is for the security of their own persons; for, if they were unarmed and unprepared, the natives would kill them—as they have done to many Spaniards whom they have caught astray and alone, killing them and practicing ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 - Volume III, 1569-1576 • E.H. Blair

... but he abandoned it after he had offered his sketches to a French poet as the basis of a lyric drama which he hoped to write for Paris. He confesses that he was curious to know what the Frenchman would do with a work the stage production of which would "provoke a thousand frights." He himself was unwilling to stir up such a tempest in Germany; instead, he put his sketches aside and used some of their material in ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... object of the drama to divert, then it occupies a wholly different ground from the Bible. If it merely gratifies curiosity or enlivens pastime, if it awakens emotion without directing it to useful ends, if it rallies the infirmities of human nature with no other design than to provoke our derision or increase our conceit, it shoots very, very wide of the object which the sacred ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 22, Aug., 1859 • Various

... enjoyment of them. There is a noble piece of character-drawing in one of Mr. Henry James's novels, The Portrait of a Lady, where Gilbert Osmond, a selfish dilettante, finding that he cannot make a great success or attain a great position, devotes himself to trying to mystify and provoke the curiosity of the world by retiring into a refined seclusion, and professing that it affords him an exquisite kind of enjoyment. The hideous vulgarity of his attitude is not at first sight apparent; he deceives the heroine, who is a ...
— At Large • Arthur Christopher Benson

... becoming quite resigned to Bigelow's presence. In the first place, he seems to be the only one who can bring Curt to reason. Then again, I feel that it is to Bigelow's own interest to convince Curt that he mustn't provoke an open scandal by running ...
— The First Man • Eugene O'Neill

... reconvene the Council seemed to gratify Clinton—if, indeed, his action had not been deliberately taken to provoke the Governor into such a course. Appointments made under such conditions could scarcely satisfy an ambitious leader who had friends to reward; and, besides, the election of a new governor in the following month would ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... didst teach me love, why on thyself From God divert thy lesson? Wilt provoke Him? What if mine heavenly Spouse in jealous ire Should smite mine earthly spouse? Have I two husbands? The words are horror—yet they ...
— The Saint's Tragedy • Charles Kingsley

... in form, we have said that they differed in temper. The elder was peaceful, studious, and silent; the younger was warlike and noisy. He was quick at learning when he began, but very slow at beginning. No threats of the ferule would provoke Harry to learn in an idle fit, or would prevent George from helping his brother in his lesson. Harry was of a strong military turn, drilled the little negroes on the estate and caned them like a corporal, having many good boxing-matches with them, and never bearing malice ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... "I mustn't let him provoke me." Presently the Tamil boy, who was Nelson's head servant, came in with the lights. She addressed him at once with voluble directions where to put the lamps, told him to bring the tray with the gin and bitters, and to ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... as he released her and again placed himself at her side—'why do you provoke me into enmity, when I would fain be your lover and friend? Mine you must be—mine you shall be, if I ...
— City Crimes - or Life in New York and Boston • Greenhorn

... frowned—it had been real, pretty ugly while it lasted. But like a bug-a-boo it had gone. And this good, safe man had become transformed in this amazing intimacy and had become a wild delight: a man to laugh at, tease, provoke, and cling to, silent, in a flame; a man to mother, study out, probe into deep with questions; a man to plan ...
— His Second Wife • Ernest Poole

... defendants, fearing the result, employed four of the ablest lawyers practicing at the M. bar to defend them. The offense charged was only assault and battery; but the evidence showed a conspiracy to inflict great violence on the person of the prosecutor, who had done nothing to provoke it, and that the attempt to effect it was followed by severe injury to him. The prosecutor was an original. He had been an old-field school-master, and was as conceited and pedantic a fellow as could be found in a summer's day, even in that profession. ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VII. (of X.) • Various

... his singular exploits would fill a volume[169]; for, as his pretensions are high, and not always willingly yielded to, he is every now and then giving rise to some rumour. He is, on many of these occasions, as much sinned against as sinning; for men, knowing his temper, sometimes provoke him, conscious that Glengarry, from his character for violence, will always be put in the wrong by the public. I have seen him behave in a very manly manner when thus tempted. He has of late prosecuted a quarrel, ridiculous enough in the present ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... I provoke Mr. Preston,' said Cynthia, 'to begin upon you? It is like turning a tap, such a stream of pretty speeches flow out at the moment.' ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... account penned by David Pietersz de Vries, a Dutch shipmaster, who visited Virginia in March, 1633 implies that Newport News then was an established watering point for incoming, and even outgoing, vessels. His description tends to provoke the thought that such had been the case for years, perhaps from the early days of Virginia. "The 10th, we sailed up the river [James]. When we came to the before-mentioned point of Newport-Snuw, we landed ...
— The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624 • Charles E. Hatch

... be their origin and their date.[1323] Through their habitual or frequent residence near the court, through their alliances or mutual visits, through their habits and their luxuries, through the influence which they exercise and the enmities which they provoke, they form a group apart, and are those who possess the most extensive estates, the leading suzerainties, and the most complete and comprehensive jurisdictions. Of the court nobility and of the higher clergy, they number perhaps, a thousand in each ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6) - The Ancient Regime • Hippolyte A. Taine

... my advocate, in a great hurry to get married, to the disgust of his rivals, the leading his bride to the altar to the clang of bells and the sound of music, so timed as to provoke the qualms of diarrhoea. In the evening, after the ball, comes he into the nuptial chamber, where should be reposing his lovely bride. No longer is she a lovely bride—but a fury—a wild she-devil, who, seated in an armchair, refuses her share ...
— Droll Stories, Volume 1 • Honore de Balzac

... underwood, And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths. But never elsewhere in one place I knew 55 So many nightingales; and far and near, In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, They answer and provoke each other's song, With skirmish and capricious passagings, And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, 60 And one low piping sound more sweet than all— Stirring the air with such a harmony, That should you close your eyes, you might almost Forget it was not day! On moonlight ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... polished race. A Spartan, wherever he might be placed, unconsciously assumed superiority. The levity of an Ionian was ever displeasing to him. Out of the actual battle-field, they could have no topics in common, none which did not provoke irritation and dispute. On the other hand, most of the Ionians could ill conceal their disaffection, mingled with something of just contempt at the notorious and confessed incapacity of the Spartans for maritime affairs, while a Spartan was yet the commander of the fleet. ...
— Pausanias, the Spartan - The Haunted and the Haunters, An Unfinished Historical Romance • Lord Lytton

... pitifully childish that it failed to provoke me. I marched down the path with a smile on my face, which succeeded in angering them. One young fool, a Norton from Malreward, would have hustled me, but I saw Mr. Grey hold him back. "No brawling here, ...
— Salute to Adventurers • John Buchan

... this defect,' Miss Fuller said, 'that these conversations have been planned. She was not here to teach; but she had had some experience in the management of such a conversation as was now proposed; she meant to give her view on each subject, and provoke the thoughts ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... married, in a passion, let the reception given to every ranting scene in our plays testify. Take care, my charmer, now thou art come to delight me with thy angry twirls, that thou temptest me not to provoke a variety of them from one, whose every motion, whose every air, carries in it so ...
— Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) - History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... kneaded with a little water, while the girls sweep the earth off the cooking-place and uncover the stones; an appetizing smell spreads, and the master of the house watches the preparations with a sharp eye and a silent tongue. One feels that the least carelessness will provoke an outburst, and, indeed, a solemn silence has fallen on the company, only the wife ...
— Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific • Felix Speiser

... first Mademoiselle Hortense, who was young and gay, was amused by the antics of her admirer, read the verses which he addressed to her, and showed them to the ladies who accompanied her. One such poetical effusion was enough to provoke laughter (and can you blame her?); but after the first burst of laughter, Mademoiselle Hortense, good and charming as her mother, never failed to say, with a sympathetic expression and tone, "The ...
— The Private Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Complete • Constant

... sought help from Prussia. Frederick showed his hatred of England by forbidding some German troops which George had hired to pass through his dominions; but his quarrel with Austria with reference to the Bavarian succession rendered him unwilling to provoke Great Britain: he had no sympathy with the Americans and would ...
— The Political History of England - Vol. X. • William Hunt

... chokes her pleading tongue, And swelling passion doth provoke a pause; Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong; Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause: 220 And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak, And now her sobs ...
— Venus and Adonis • William Shakespeare

... dominant in our lives—expiation or our comfort and well-being as citizens? Alas! we have all had times in which we, too, fell under God's reproach to His people after the escape from Egypt: "The beloved grew fat and kicked; they have provoked me with that which was no god, and I will provoke them with that which is no people." Nevertheless, He will save us, for He wills not that our adversaries should boast that they, and not the Eternal, did these things. "See ye that I alone am, and there is no other God beside me. I will kill and I will make to live. ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... however, the lawless traders, the English and American whalers and sandal-wood dealers, who bring uncontrolled vice and violence where they put in for water; while they, on the one hand, corrupt the natives, on the other they provoke them into reprisals on the next White men who fall in their way. That the Polynesians are good sailors and not bad workmen, has proved another misfortune, for they are often kidnapped by unscrupulous captains to supply the deficiency of labour in some of the Australasian settlements. ...
— Pioneers and Founders - or, Recent Workers in the Mission field • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... Enmity is the law of life. You have enemies in the highest and in the lowest ranks. You are planning a great undertaking; you have a past; your father, your grandfather had enemies because they had passion. In life it is not criminals who provoke the most hatred, but rather ...
— Friars and Filipinos - An Abridged Translation of Dr. Jose Rizal's Tagalog Novel, - 'Noli Me Tangere.' • Jose Rizal

... a proceeding, if carried into effect, would provoke loud protests from sportsmen, gunners, game-hogs, pot-hunters and others; but I only wish to high heaven that we had the power to carry such a program as that into effect! Then we would see some game in ten years; and our ...
— Our Vanishing Wild Life - Its Extermination and Preservation • William T. Hornaday

... day he was informed of Germany's abuse of neutral embassies and mail-bags; the next of the submarine bases in Mexico, prepared as a threat against American shipping; the day after that the whole infamous story of how Berlin had financed the Mexican Revolution. Germany's efforts to provoke an American-Japanese war leaked out, her attempts to spread disloyalty among German-Americans, her conspiracies for setting fire to factories and powder-plants, including the blowing up of bridges and the Welland Canal. Quietly, circumstantially, ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... add, "it would be absurd and immoral to maintain, that a father, whose right and duty it is to correct his children (and indeed on this occasion correction was abundantly deserved by the insolent demeanour of Luigi) could be considered to provoke his son by a slight personal chastisement." The son, by the way, was over one and twenty, a fact to which no allusion is made. As "a forlorn hope," in the words of the sentence, the counsel for the defence asserted, that whatever ...
— Rome in 1860 • Edward Dicey

... behind, and are slowly but surely catching up your opponent, that when you do draw level you do not relax your efforts. This danger is most insidious, and must be fought against. The strain and anxiety involved in catching up, and the great relief when you are games all, provoke a reaction unless you are on your guard. A rest is taken, often involuntarily. It is fatal, because before you realize it and can get going again your opponent has run out a winner. This happened to me at Wimbledon ...
— Lawn Tennis for Ladies • Mrs. Lambert Chambers

... The irony did not provoke any retort from the drive master. He went away with a rush, but his demeanor showed that he was not running away from anything or anybody. ...
— Joan of Arc of the North Woods • Holman Day

... in 1685. Against the will of Parliament the project was folly. To overthrow the rights of corporations and of the Universities, and to attempt to bully the Church of England, after Elizabeth's fashion, at the very beginning of a pro-Catholic movement, was to provoke defeat. ...
— The Rise of the Democracy • Joseph Clayton

... Maybough girl, and that she guessed she had got the last of her lessons from him; but she didn't seem much troubled about it. But I guess by her not wantin' to tell, it's him. What do you suppose he did to provoke her?" ...
— The Coast of Bohemia • William Dean Howells

... In woolen? 'Twould a saint provoke!" Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke. "No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face; One would not, sure, be frightful when one's dead! And, Betty, give ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... It is a vulgar error to suppose that men succeed best when their efforts are enlivened by a real belief in the matter in hand. Not only some men have such a superabundance of fervid imagination that they can, for the time being, provoke themselves into a pseudo belief in what they know in their saner moments to be false, but moreover a large class of men are endowed with minds so restless and so finely strung that they can play with a sophism with marvellous dexterity and skill, while lacking that vigorous and comprehensive grasp ...
— The Galaxy, Volume 23, No. 2, February, 1877 • Various

... returns with it to His fold rejoicing! My soul! why increase by farther departures thine own distance from the fold?—why lengthen the dreary road thy gracious Shepherd has to traverse in bringing thee back? Delay not thy return! Provoke no longer His patience; venture no farther on forbidden ground. He waits with outstretched arms to welcome thee once more to His bosom. Be humble for the past, trust Him for the future. Think of thy former backslidings, and ...
— The Faithful Promiser • John Ross Macduff

... your personal dislikes, Rupert, to provoke you to speak of a fellow-scholar in that way—and a young lady, too," corrected the ...
— Cressy • Bret Harte

... Colombians living on the Isthmus were anxious to have the negotiations ended and the digging begun. In October the President wrote to an intimate friend hoping that there might be a revolt of the Isthmus against Colombia, though disclaiming any intent to provoke one. The friend made the wish public over his own name, but before it appeared in print the revolt had taken place. It was known in advance to the State Department, which telegraphed on November 3, 1903, asking when it was to be precipitated. It took place later on this day, the ...
— The New Nation • Frederic L. Paxson

... there as if nothing unusual had happened. Perhaps it was my fancy that made me think that Laura looked menacingly at him, and also that his apathetic expression was even more mournful than usual. I confess that such a tame ending of the business is the most painful to me. I am not one to provoke a quarrel, but ready to answer for my deeds; finally, I would rather the man were not so defenceless, such a small, miserable creature. I have a nasty feeling, as if I had knocked down a cripple, and never yet felt so ...
— Without Dogma • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... rest of the ministry declared for the treaty of partition; the king affected a kind of neutrality. The dauphin spoke for his son with an air of resolution he had never assumed before; Pontchartain seconded his argument; madame de Main-tenon asked, what the duke of Anjou had done to provoke the king, that he should be barred of his right to that succession? Then the rest of the members espoused the dauphin's opinion; and the king owned himself convinced by their reasons. In all probability the decision of this council was previously settled in private. After the ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... worship's helmet! You have guessed the offender finely! Faith, sir, by the light God gives me, it seems I must have enchanters too, that persecute me as a creature and limb of your worship, and they must have put that nastiness there in order to provoke your patience to anger, and make you baste my ribs as you are wont to do. Well, this time, indeed, they have missed their aim, for I trust to my master's good sense to see that I have got no curds or milk, or anything of the sort; and that if I had, it is ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 7 • Charles H. Sylvester

... seemly in a decent man? If he lied he was demeaning himself and those to whom he lied, and slighting what he lied about. Could he not understand that if he swaggered and posed at the judicial table, or held forth at dinner on the prerogatives of Government, that he, simply to provoke her uncle, was showing thereby that he had not a ha'p'orth of respect for the Court, or himself, or any of the people who were ...
— The Party and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... of the bulbs (the bulbs being, of course, thoroughly dried out when tied in the bags). The natural moisture of the bulbs seems, by some kind of paper protection as mentioned above, to be conserved, while full and continued exposure to dry air seems to provoke scab as well as hardening of the outer ...
— The Gladiolus - A Practical Treatise on the Culture of the Gladiolus (2nd Edition) • Matthew Crawford

... us'd such cunning, As she, to hear his tale, left off her running; (Maids are not won by brutish force and might But speeches full of pleasure, and delight;) And, knowing Hermes courted her, was glad That she such loveliness and beauty had As could provoke his liking; yet was mute, And neither would deny nor grant his suit. Still vow'd he love: she, wanting no excuse To feed him with delays, as women use, Or thirsting after immortality, (All women are ambitious naturally,) ...
— Hero and Leander and Other Poems • Christopher Marlowe and George Chapman

... be put by; To whom the grave 120 Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight Of day or the warm light, A place of thought where we in waiting lie; Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might Of untam'd pleasures, on thy Being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The Years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight, And custom lie upon thee with a weight, 130 Heavy as frost, and deep ...
— Poems In Two Volumes, Vol. 2 • William Wordsworth

... state is wasting such excellent material on the mere job of Governor, Lana. What a perfectly wonderful warden he would make for your state prison," suggested Mrs. Stanton, sweetly. But she did not provoke a reply from the girl and noted that Lana was frankly interested in somebody else than the Governor. It was a new arrival; his busy exchange of ...
— All-Wool Morrison • Holman Day

... which have happened or will happen in the world will always be found to be in proportion to the number and weight of the causes, whether REAL or PRETENDED, which PROVOKE or INVITE them. If this remark be just, it becomes useful to inquire whether so many JUST causes of war are likely to be given by UNITED AMERICA as by DISUNITED America; for if it should turn out that United ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... portion." Then he brought him into a saloon, where he left him with Kamar al-Zaman, after he had said privily to the lad, "O my son, sit thou beside the Dervish when I am gone out and sport with him and provoke him to love-liesse and if he seek of thee lewdness, I who will be watching you from the window overlooking the saloon will come down to him and kill him." So, as soon as Kamar al-Zaman was alone in ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... volatile and capricious; else should we expect the topic we approach in this paper to have been long ago flooded with light as of Maedler's sun, its dust dissipated, and sundry curves and angles which still baffle scrutiny and provoke curiosity exposed even to Gallio-llke wayfarers. It is, in fact, a neglected topic. Its derivatives are obscure, its facts doubtful. Questions spring from it, sucker-like, numberless, which none may answer. Why, for instance, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 10, August, 1858 • Various

... Rhodes seriously embarrassed the home and colonial governments, by thus breaking the peaceful understanding between the nations; and further, that he used his high position to provoke a rebellion, and deliberately deceived the home Government that he might be able to carry out his own personal plans. The Government in England is declared to be entirely innocent of any knowledge of the affair, but two officers of the colonial Government ...
— The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 39, August 5, 1897 - A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls • Various

... States troops on the edge of the disputed territory furthest from the Mexican settlements, was not sufficient to provoke hostilities. We were sent to provoke a fight, but it was essential that Mexico should commence it. It was very doubtful whether Congress would declare war; but if Mexico should attack our troops, the Executive could announce, "Whereas, war exists by the acts of, etc.," and prosecute the contest ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... some inkling of the voyage from the wails which at the first moment had greeted him, yet of the details no clear understanding had been had. The best account would, doubtless, be given by the captain. Yet at first the visitor was loth to ask it, unwilling to provoke some distant rebuff. But plucking up courage, he at last accosted Don Benito, renewing the expression of his benevolent interest, adding, that did he (Captain Delano) but know the particulars of the ship's misfortunes, he would, perhaps, be better able in the end ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... a great extent. The graves are placed in rows close together, with numbers on a small iron plate to denote each. Here the shipwrecked, the pestilence-stricken, the penniless, and friendless are buried; and though such a spot cannot fail to provoke sad musings, the people of New York do not suffer any appearances of neglect to accumulate round the last resting-place of those who died unfriended and alone. Another feature, not to be met with in England, strikes the stranger at first with ludicrous images, though ...
— The Englishwoman in America • Isabella Lucy Bird

... opposed to Hannibal, who would, of course, resist any measures tending to a war with Rome, for they would consider such a war as opening a vast field for gratifying Hannibal's ambition. The only way, therefore, was to provoke a war by aggressions on the Roman allies, to be justified by the best ...
— Hannibal - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... in another:—"She would rush boldly into the apartment where he was, and at his feet take leave of him for ever—she would lay hold of his hands, clasp his knees, provoke him to spurn her, which would be joy in comparison to this cruel indifference." In the bitterness of her grief, she once called upon her mother, and reproached her memory—but the moment she recollected this offence, (which was almost instantaneously) she became all mildness and resignation. ...
— A Simple Story • Mrs. Inchbald

... political concerns of the kingdom, although he had promised his father-in-law to carry on the war in concert with him, yet, being apprehensive of the effects of the Portuguese power, he judged it more for his interest to seek a reconciliation with them than to provoke their resentment, and in pursuance of that system had so far recommended himself to Garcia de Sa, the governor of Malacca, that he formed a treaty of alliance with him. This was however soon interrupted, and chiefly by the imprudence of a man named Diogo ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... shaving in my dressing-room, that Mr. Hogg wished earnestly to speak with me. He was ushered in, and I cannot describe the half-startled, half-humorous air with which he said, scratching his head most vehemently, 'Odd, Scott, here's twae fo'k's come frae Glasgow to provoke mey to fecht a duel.' 'A duel,' answered I, in great astonishment, 'and what do you intend to do?' 'Odd, I just locket them up in my room and sent the lassie for twae o' the police, and just gie'd the ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... There are some people who delight in twitting others about some fault or physical defect, or because of lack of ability or something of that sort. If they see that this causes us to fret, it only increases their desire to provoke us. Then again, some people like to make sport of others, and tease them; and if they see that some one can not hear it well, if it frets him and worries him, this only increases their delight. I have heard such people say, "I just ...
— Heart Talks • Charles Wesley Naylor



Words linked to "Provoke" :   set off, beset, fire, hurt, inflame, shake up, overcome, draw, strike a chord, overtake, dun, provocative, stimulate, put forward, challenge, ignite, jog, shame, prick, harass, haze, make, stir up, nettle, instigate, enkindle, overpower, molest, plague, provocation, irritate, rejuvenate, agitate, harry, invoke, discompose, foment, torment, rag, sweep over, needle, evoke, bring up, do, raise, wound, annoy, gravel, chivy, conjure, interest, frustrate, touch a chord, lure, tempt, chevy, heat, rekindle, create, spite, ask for, get at, offend, call forth, chivvy, crucify, fire up, rile, arouse, cause, kindle, bedevil, chevvy



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