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Provoke   /prəvˈoʊk/   Listen
Provoke

verb
(past & past part. provoked; pres. part. provoking)
1.
Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses).  Synonyms: arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, raise.  "Raise a smile" , "Evoke sympathy"
2.
Evoke or provoke to appear or occur.  Synonyms: call forth, evoke, kick up.
3.
Provide the needed stimulus for.  Synonym: stimulate.
4.
Annoy continually or chronically.  Synonyms: beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague.  "This man harasses his female co-workers"



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"Provoke" Quotes from Famous Books



... tortured on the rack, and devoured by lions in the amphitheatre. It is the fate of prophets to be exiled, or slandered, or jeered at, or stigmatized, or banished from society,—to be subjected to some sort of persecution; but when prophets denounce woes, and utter invectives, and provoke by stinging sarcasms, they have generally been killed. No matter how enlightened society is, or tolerant the age, he who utters offensive truths will be disliked, and in ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume I • John Lord

... of sight of the world's sharp eyes, Jay Gardiner and his wife used each other with the scantest possible courtesy. He never descended to the vulgarity of having words with her, though she did her utmost to provoke him to quarrel, saying to herself that anything was better than that dead calm, that haughty way he had of completely ignoring her in his ...
— Jolly Sally Pendleton - The Wife Who Was Not a Wife • Laura Jean Libbey

... 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

... to provoke her, by reviling the absent Posthumus, her indignation heightens her scorn, and her scorn sets a keener edge on ...
— Characteristics of Women - Moral, Poetical, and Historical • Anna Jameson

... the course of literary debate, a man lowers his estimation in the public eye by engaging in such controversy, that, since I have been dipped in ink, I have suffered no personal attacks (and I have been honored with them of all descriptions) to provoke me to reply. A man will certainly be vexed on such occasions, and I have wished to have the knaves where the muircock was the bailie—or, as you would say, upon the sod—but I never let the thing cling to my mind, and always adhered ...
— Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Volume V (of 10) • John Gibson Lockhart

... Doctor with terrible grimness, "I have a study—and I have a cane. I can convince you of both facts, if you wish it. If you insult me again by this brazen buffoonery, I will! Be off to your dormitory, sir, before you provoke me to punish you. Not ...
— Vice Versa - or A Lesson to Fathers • F. Anstey

... "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos far from her own home, busying herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... incapacity of suspecting, had, since the mysterious affair on the banks of the Torgau, felt his mind alienated from his cousin; he revolted from the man that would have murdered him; and he had displayed his caution so visibly as to provoke a reaction in the bearing of Zebek-Dorchi, and a displeasure which all his dissimulation could not hide. This had produced a feud, which, by keeping them aloof, had probably saved the life of Oubacha; for the friendship of Zebek-Dorchi was more fatal than his open enmity. After the ...
— Narrative And Miscellaneous Papers • Thomas De Quincey

... of a politician, Miss Weems," said Arthur, "although I take our country's differences much at heart. I shall surely not provoke discussion with you, like our friend Harold, upon an unpleasant subject, while you give me carte blanche to enjoy your conversation upon themes more ...
— Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession • Benjamin Wood

... thought that thou wouldst then certainly engage my services. I was to accidentally shoot thee while hunting. What more easy than to stumble and for my gun to explode? But when I knew thee, then I could not kill thee thus. I tried to provoke thee that night, knowing thee to be a violent-tempered man; I provoked thee into insulting me. I hoped thou wouldst have struck me, and then it would have been easy. Thou wast very near death at that moment, for in spite ...
— The Land of the Black Mountain - The Adventures of Two Englishmen in Montenegro • Reginald Wyon

... sorry to provoke you," he said gayly. "Forgive me before supper time; who knows what rich experiences I may have between ...
— The Pagans • Arlo Bates

... often done before—stuck the rose in her hair a little above the left ear. The tender admiration in Adam's face was slightly shadowed by reluctant disapproval. Hetty's love of finery was just the thing that would most provoke his mother, and he himself disliked it as much as it was possible for him to dislike anything that belonged ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... it forms an appropriate companion. The peculiarities of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, Christopher North, Washington Irving, Scott, Moore, Brougham, Wilberforce, and other names of sufficient eminence to provoke a quiz, are hit off with capital success. The most astringent features are always relaxed in the perusal of ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... cudgel another question out of my head, he was below, hand-springing across the back yard. He had slid down the balusters, headfirst. I gave up trying to provoke a discussion with him. The essential element of discussion had been left out of him; his answers were so final and exact that they did not leave a doubt to hang conversation on. I suspect that there is the making of a mighty man or a mighty rascal in this boy—according to ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the man, and from these, deep veiled in the mystery of her very loveliness, his true companion sprang. A being thus ardent will often go wrong in her strenuous course; will often alarm, sometimes provoke; will now and then work mischief and even perhaps grievous harm; but she will be our own Eve after all; the sweet-speaking tempter whom heaven created to be the joy and the trouble of this pleasing anxious existence; to shame us away from the hiding-places of a slothful ...
— Biographical Study of A. W. Kinglake • Rev. W. Tuckwell

... afterward, while sitting in a cafe, a burly, vulgar-looking man, a stranger to him, interrupted him several times while talking, and, after making several rough speeches as if trying to provoke a quarrel, finally threw a card in his face, saying its owner was ready to grant him satisfaction ...
— File No. 113 • Emile Gaboriau

... bould yeoman, and bid him for to stand; "If I do, I'm damn'd!" said he, "although you cut it grand. I'm an old English farmer, and do not me provoke I've a cudgel, look ye here, it's a prime tough bit of oak! And I'll give you some gravy, [5] Of that I'll take my davy, [6] If you try to prig my gold [7] ...
— Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs - and Slang Rhymes [1536 - 1896] • John S. Farmer

... in the way, ffor such long voyages cannot be performed otherwise, having gon through vast forests, finding no inn in the way, neither having the least provision. Att his coming there he spoake whatever the reveng, wrath, and indignation could provoke or utter against the ffrench, especially against the ffathers, saying that it was they that have sold and betrayed them; and that he would bestow the same uppon them if ever he should meet with them. As for him, ...
— Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson • Peter Esprit Radisson

... men begged him not to provoke a monster so mighty that he could crush their heads and the timbers of their ship with one cast of a stone. Once more Odysseus shouted ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) • Various

... assert is this: they say that all fools are mad, as all dunghills stink; not that they always do so, but stir them, and you will perceive it. And in like manner, a warm-tempered man is not always in a passion; but provoke him, and you will see him run mad. Now, that very warlike anger, which is of such service in war, what is the use of it to him when he is at home with his wife, children, and family? Is there, then, anything that a disturbed mind can do better than one which is calm and steady? Or can any one be ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... such another declaration in his favour during the short restoration of Henry. What temptations were these precedents to an affronted prince! We shall see soon what encouragement they gave him to examine closely into his nephew's pretensions; and how imprudent it was in the queen to provoke Gloucester, when her very existence as queen was liable to strong objections. Nor ought the subsequent executions of Lord Rivers, Lord Richard Grey, and of Lord Hastings himself, to be considered in so very strong a light, as they would appear ...
— Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third • Horace Walpole

... who have fed, clothed and comforted her prisoners, has, to the present day, warded off her resentment, and operated as a screen to the whole. But even these considerations must cease, when national objects interfere and oppose them. Repeated aggravations will provoke a retort, and policy justify the measure. We mean now to take you seriously up upon your own ground and principle, and as you do, so ...
— The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete - With Index to Volumes I - IV • Thomas Paine

... clasping and consolidating force in it; fellow-workers they are with God in the creation of the family; they help him to get it to his mind, to perfect his father-idea. Ever radiating peace, they welcome love, but do not seek it; they provoke no jealousy. They are the children of God, for like him they would be one with his creatures. His eldest son, his very likeness, was the first of the family-peace-makers. Preaching peace to them that were afar off and them that were nigh, ...
— Hope of the Gospel • George MacDonald

... to Sheerness, where he lodged nearly a week, awaiting a boat that would answer his purpose. Had he attempted to board a vessel, he would have been seized and examined; therefore his plan was to grow violent in his preaching, and, if possible, provoke the authorities to place him on board one of the outgoing crafts; that being a favorite method of the king's men in getting rid of the too ...
— The Touchstone of Fortune • Charles Major

... the gift which you sent me is so pretty that I know not how to express to you the pleasure it has given me and how much I value it; and I cannot see why you must always provoke me by telling me that it is my fault that you are filled with bile, while I am as innocent as a new-born babe and would wish you so gentle and patient that your blood would become a true clarified syrup; this ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... heroic sincerity which belongs to such modesty. Of a noble ambition, and sensitive to applause,—as every delicate nature veined with genius always is,—he would not provoke the applause by doing anything which, although it lay easily within his power, was yet not wholly approved by him as worthy. Many men are ambitious and full of talent, and when the prize does not fairly come they ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 8, No. 46, August, 1861 • Various

... years had been almost forgot by Mrs. Lennox, till recalled by Lady Maclaughlan's letter. But she had been silent on the subject to Mary; for she could not conceal from herself that her husband had been to blame—that the heat and violence of his temper had often led him to provoke and exasperate where mildness and forbearance would have soothed and conciliated, without detracting from his dignity; but her gentle heart shrank from the task of unnecessarily disclosing the faults of the man she had loved; and then she heard Mary talk with rapture of ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... October revolution there broods a tragic fatality. In spite of outward success the inner failure has proceeded by inevitable stages—stages which could, by sufficient acumen, have been foreseen from the first. By provoking the hostility of the outside world the Bolsheviks were forced to provoke the hostility of the peasants, and finally the hostility or utter apathy of the urban and industrial population. These various hostilities brought material disaster, and material disaster brought spiritual collapse. The ultimate source ...
— The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism • Bertrand Russell

... of this status, why, not only office, but I fear even one's life, it would be difficult to preserve. That's why these lists are called office-philacteries. This Hseh family, just a while back spoken of, how could your worship presume to provoke? This case in question affords no difficulties whatever in the way of a settlement; but the prefects, who have held office before you, have all, by doing violence to the feelings and good name of these people, come to ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... fair-ones. How universally engaging is it to put a woman of sense, to whom a man is not 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 much sense ...
— Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) - History Of A Young Lady • Samuel Richardson

... "The auld —— !" I have always an uncomfortable feeling in a graveyard, at sight of so many tombs to perpetuate memories best forgotten; but I never had the impression so strongly as that day. People had been at some expense in both these cases: to provoke a melancholy feeling of derision in the one, and an insulting epithet in the other. The proper inscription for the most part of mankind, I began to think, is the cynical jeer, cras tibi. That, if anything, ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... like a fox in his tracks, and it would be easier to convict a merchant who values his reputation, of a false invoice, than this minx of nineteen of an indiscretion! There is so much of old Etienne and his Norman blood in her eye, that one does not like to provoke extremities; but here, when I expected Van Staats had profited by his opportunity, the girl looks like a nun, at the mention of his name. The Patroon is no Cupid, we must allow; or, in a week at sea, he would have won the heart of a mermaid!—Ay—and here are more ...
— The Water-Witch or, The Skimmer of the Seas • James Fenimore Cooper

... in Heav'n, till then as one secure Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custome, and his Regal State 640 Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd, Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own So as not either to provoke, or dread New warr, provok't; our better part remains To work in close design, by fraud or guile What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife 650 There went ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... Before them placed and fishes of the main, With wines and cordials, juices rich and rare The chieftains all enjoy—the royal fare. This day, with Izdubar they laugh and joke 'Mid courtesies and mirth, and oft provoke The ringing merry laughter through the halls. When all are satisfied within the walls, Their fill have eaten of the royal fare, With wine they banish from them ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Literature • Anonymous

... accusing soul—we feel that the greatness of his strength has departed from him. All thenceforth is deepening confusion without and within. Less and less can he control the violences of his party, till these provoke all but universal revolt, and the "Masque of the Furies" ends his public career. The uncertainties and vacillations of the "Trial by Fire," the long series of confessions and retractations, historically true, are still more morally and spiritually ...
— The Ethics of George Eliot's Works • John Crombie Brown

... survey strictly to those pictures which have found recognised champions among modern critics of repute, for to challenge every "Giorgione" in public and private collections would be a Herculean task, well calculated to provoke an incredulous smile! ...
— Giorgione • Herbert Cook

... comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, Unseen thy little branches greet: No roving foot shall crush thee here, No busy hand provoke a tear. ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 3 (of 4) • Various

... freemen, labourers and planters of provisions, which makes work and victuals dear and scarce. Privateering encourages all manner of disorder and dissoluteness; and if it succeed, does but enrich the worst sort of people and provoke and alarm ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... he whom even our joys provoke, The fiend of nature join'd his yoke, 15 And rush'd in wrath to make our isle his prey; Thy form, from out thy sweet abode, O'ertook him on his blasted road, And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his rage away. I ...
— The Poetical Works of William Collins - With a Memoir • William Collins

... to my inquiry concerning this nobleman. His remembrance of the personal appearance of George III., and his remarks on the subject, are in my opinion conclusive; but the appearance of the statement in the Life of Goldsmith was such as to provoke inquiry. May I ask our correspondent C. (who appears to be acquainted with the North genealogy) whether a sister of the premier North, by the some mother, was not alive some years after the year 1734? Collins records the birth of an infant ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 204, September 24, 1853 • Various

... me won't help you, my friend. And I am not going to let you provoke me into a fight, and kill me perhaps, for no doubt that is what you would like to do. I am not going to give Elsa up to you, you need not think it; and you can't take her from me, you can't make her break her solemn promise to me, without covering her ...
— A Bride of the Plains • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... in the seat of honor at the head of the table, and joining in all the fun of those merry reunions. For a time she treated all alike as comrades, and accepted no compliments save those so extravagant as to provoke general laughter. Gradually, however, it came to be understood among the students that Minette made an exception in the case of Arnold Dampierre, and that on occasions when they happened to break up in pairs he was ...
— A Girl of the Commune • George Alfred Henty

... despise thee, for thou wilt not abide the conflict. And I would have cast myself upon him and wrestled with him there, for defeat and not for victory. But I could not lay hold upon him. Thou art a powerless nothing, I cried; I will not even defy thee.—Thou wouldst provoke me, said the shadow; but it availeth not. I cannot be provoked. Truly, I am but a shadow, yet know I my own worth, for I am the Shadow of the Almighty, and where he is, there am I—Thou art nothing, ...
— Thomas Wingfold, Curate • George MacDonald

... saints in fiends we find; As Ruler absolute Jehovah stands, Alone o'er heaven and earth and hell commands, While pagan gods each 'gainst the other strive, And ne'er one queen is found o'er all the hive, Now—(strike me dead, Jove's tarrying thunderbolt!) So many masters must provoke revolt. And ah! where Christians live—there life is pure, Vice dies untended, virtues all endure. We give these men to rack, and cord, and flame, While they forgive us—in their Pardoner's name. They no sedition raise, they ne'er rebel, Rome makes them soldiers, ...
— Polyuecte • Pierre Corneille

... as though he was curious to hear particulars. Wogan thought it wise to provoke his curiosity by disregarding it. It seemed that there was wisdom in his reticence, for a little later the Prince took him aside while the Countess of Berg was still playing upon ...
— Clementina • A.E.W. Mason

... at distances with boxes for the judges, the court, or the music—the immense area in which the combats take place, occupied with the picadors in silk jackets, on horses richly caparisoned, and with the light skipping and elastic bandarilleros, carrying their gaudy silk flags to provoke the rage and to elude the attack of the bull, form of themselves a fine sight before the combat begins. When the door of the den which encloses the bull is opened, and the noble animal bursts in wildly ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 10, No. 272, Saturday, September 8, 1827 • Various

... publishing the narrative of my "Missionary Travels," I had a great misgiving as to whether the criticism my endeavours might provoke would be friendly or the reverse, more particularly as I felt that I had then been so long a sojourner in the wilderness, as to be quite a stranger to the British public. But I am now in this, my second essay at authorship, cheered by the conviction that very many ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... vigilant eye and whisk Bobby off to a certain favored nook on the boat-deck just outside the captain's state-room. Here they had spent many happy evenings, notwithstanding the fact that their figures, silhouetted against the light, had never failed to provoke the captain to a profanity that was ...
— The Honorable Percival • Alice Hegan Rice

... the kitchen for a slattern as thou art, and wash thee and busk [dress] thee ere thou open the door to any again!" said a rather shrill, yet not unpleasant, voice behind Deb; and that damsel disappeared with prompt celerity. "The maid is enough to provoke all the saints in the calendar. Isoult, sweet heart, be a thousand times welcomed!" And the speaker, advancing, kissed her guest with as much affection as ...
— Robin Tremain - A Story of the Marian Persecution • Emily Sarah Holt

... "Why should it provoke you? I'm certain you don't care for him—you can't!" cried Nora. "He's the most hectoring, overbearing creature! The way he took possession of you the other day at the boats! Of course he didn't care, if he made ...
— Lady Connie • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... struck with sickness, and died cursing. Another such scene he probably witnessed himself,[1] and never forgot. An alehouse-keeper in the neighbourhood of Elstow had a son who was half-witted. The favourite amusement, when a party was collected drinking, was for the father to provoke the lad's temper, and for the lad to curse his father and wish the devil had him. The devil at last did have the alehouse-keeper, and rent and tore him till he died. 'I,' says Bunyan, 'was eye and ear witness of what I here say. I have heard Ned ...
— Bunyan • James Anthony Froude

... serious consequences. Those States have suffered by the stoppage of the channels of their commerce, which have not yet found other issues. This must render money scarce, and make the people uneasy. This uneasiness has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable: but I hope they will provoke no severities from their governments. A consciousness of those in power, that their administration of the public affairs has been honest, may, perhaps, produce too great a degree of indignation: and those characters wherein fear predominates over hope, may apprehend too much from these instances ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... while such preaching and such agitation may give a livelihood and a certain notoriety to some of those who take part in it, and may result in the temporary political success of others, in the long run every such movement will either fail or else will provoke a violent reaction, which will itself result not merely in undoing the mischief wrought by the demagog and the agitator, but also in undoing the good that the honest reformer, the true upholder of popular rights, has painfully and laboriously ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... children should abstain from ices or iced beverages; even the strong and healthy should partake of them in moderation. They should be taken immediately after the repast, or some hours after, because the taking these substances during the process of digestion is apt to provoke indisposition. It is necessary, then, that this function should have scarcely commenced, or that it should be completely finished, before partaking of ices. It is also necessary to abstain from them when persons are very warm, or immediately after taking violent exercise, ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... Reform Bill before the King. What a man Brougham is; he wants to ride his Chancery steed to the Devil, as if he had not enough to do. Nothing would satisfy him but to come and hear causes in our Court;[13] but as I knew it was only to provoke Leach, I would not let him come, and told the Lord President we had no causes for him to hear. He insisted, so did I, and he did not come; but some day I will invite him, and then he will have forgotten it or have ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William IV, Vol. II • Charles C. F. Greville

... doubt take place, when they would be able to repay themselves abundantly from the property of our citizens. It is not strange therefore, that these half starved, brutal wretches looked with evil eyes upon our National banks, and hoped till the last that some lucky incident might occur which would provoke an outbreak, and they would have an opportunity to pillage our banks, stores and dwellings, but they were doomed to disappointment, and with surly looks and threats of vengeance, left the city, resolved at a ...
— The Great North-Western Conspiracy In All Its Startling Details • I. Windslow Ayer

... was some six miles nearer than mine or he would have died. Leaving him safe in his den, I pushed on toward my own claim, in the teeth of a terrific gale, the cold growing each moment more intense. "The sunset regions" at that moment did not provoke me ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... its revenges." This latest discovery of the remedial virtue of a very, very tiny hair of the dog that bit you reminds us, not only of Arndt's law of protoplasmic reaction to stimuli, according to which weak and strong stimuli provoke opposite reactions, but of Hahnemann's homeopathy, which was founded on the fact alleged by Hahnemann that drugs which produce certain symptoms when taken in ordinary perceptible quantities, will, when taken in infinitesimally ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors • George Bernard Shaw

... living and high thinking than all pagan literature together, though I would by no means vilipend the study of the classicks. There I read that Job said in his despair, even as the fool saith in his heart there is no God,—'The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure.' (Job xii. 6.) But I sought farther till I found this Scripture also, which I would have those perpend who have striven to turn our Israel aside to the worship of strange gods.—'If I did despise the cause of my ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... do mischief"). Is it not in earnest most palpable folly, for so mean ends to do so great harm; to disoblige men in sport; to lose friends and get enemies for a conceit; out of a light humour to provoke fierce wrath, and breed tough hatred; to engage one's self consequently very far in strife, danger, and trouble? No way certainly is more apt to produce such effects than this; nothing more speedily inflameth, or more thoroughly engageth men, or sticketh longer in men's hearts and memories, ...
— Sermons on Evil-Speaking • Isaac Barrow

... answered Winterblossom, coolly, if not contemptuously—"keep all that for silly boys; I have lived in the world too long either to provoke quarrels, or to care about them. So, reserve your fire; it is all thrown away on such an old cock as I am. But I really wish we knew whether this fellow means to come—twenty minutes past the hour—I think it is odds that you are bilked, ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... Wilde's especial contribution to literature: he calls forth a smile whereas others try to provoke laughter. Yet he was as witty as anyone of whom we have record, and some of the best epigrams in English are his. "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing" is better than the best of La Rochefoucauld, as good ...
— Oscar Wilde, Volume 2 (of 2) - His Life and Confessions • Frank Harris

... gave his orders to the servants that it never was to be spoken in the house again. Eliza could not, or would not remember, and she persisted in calling your room 'Mr. Richard's.' I think the woman did it heedlessly, not maliciously, to provoke papa; she was a good servant, and had been with us three years you know. The first time she transgressed, papa warned her; the second, he thundered at her as I believe nobody else in the world can thunder; and the third he turned her from ...
— East Lynne • Mrs. Henry Wood

... he had hoped to provoke an answer, it was in vain; the King deigned him no further notice. Resuming his seat, Edmund continued to talk quietly with the Earl, a half-smile ...
— The Ward of King Canute • Ottilie A. Liljencrantz

... be, as he says in his preface, nothing but a "book of light reading"; and though no one can read it without having many grave enough feelings roused and agitated within him, there are really no passages to provoke or justify any detailed criticism either as to morals or ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... wearying, stock in trade of comedy. But the comic spirit does not have to depend upon them exclusively, for, as life changes, it constantly raises new expectations and offers new objects which at once provoke and fail to meet them. Everything, therefore, is potentially comical and, in the course of human history, few things can escape a laugh; some curious mind is sure, sooner or later, to bring them under a new idea against which they will be shown up to be absurd. The sanctities of religion, love, ...
— The Principles Of Aesthetics • Dewitt H. Parker

... needless to add that the young girls never knew of this act of violence, or the delicacy that kept them in ignorance of it. Mr. Carr was too absorbed in business to give heed to what he looked upon as a convulsion of society as natural as a geological upheaval, and too prudent to provoke the criticism of his daughters ...
— Devil's Ford • Bret Harte

... introduction tells how the giant Oegi, or Gymi, gave a feast to the Aesir. Loki was turned out for killing a servant, but presently returned and began to revile the Gods and Goddesses, each one in turn trying to interfere, only to provoke a taunt from Loki. At last Thor, who had been absent on a journey, came in and threatened the slanderer with his hammer, whereupon Loki said, "I spoke to the Aesir and the sons of the Aesir what my mind told me; but ...
— The Edda, Vol. 1 - The Divine Mythology of the North, Popular Studies in Mythology, - Romance, and Folklore, No. 12 • Winifred Faraday

... a hundred heads, known to us by Caesar's version of his name, as Vercingetorix, a high-spirited youth, who keenly felt the servitude of his country, and who, on receiving these tidings, instantly called on his friends to endeavor to shake off the yoke. His uncle, who feared to provoke Roman vengeance, expelled him from the chief city, Gergovia, the remains of which may be traced on the mountain still called Gergoie, about six miles from Clermont; but he collected all the younger and more high-spirited ...
— A Book of Golden Deeds • Charlotte M. Yonge

... selection of which formed one of the most onerous occupations of her life. To attire herself becomingly, and to give the Squire the dinners he best liked, in an order of succession so dexterously arranged as never to provoke satiety, were Mrs. Tempest's cardinal duties. In the intervals of her life she read modern poetry, unobjectionable French novels, and reviews. She did a little high-art needle-work, played Mendelssohn's Lieder, sang three French chansons which ...
— Vixen, Volume I. • M. E. Braddon

... would authorise the empress-queen to take Silesia, there was nothing more to be done but to kindle such a war; for which purpose no method was found more proper than that of embroiling the king with the empress of Russia; and to provoke that princess with all sorts of false insinuations, impostures, and the most atrocious calumnies, in laying to his majesty's charge a variety of designs, sometimes against Russia, and even the person of the czarina; sometimes views upon Poland, and sometimes intrigues ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... of course, kept within doors at Sierra Leone, and did not, by exposing his person, provoke arrest. He was reading aloud to Helen a few days subsequent to his escape from his brother's ship, when the door of the room was stealthily opened, ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... to provoke a quarrel between this young gentleman and myself, which might lead to evil ends; and the Intendant's share in the conspiracy was to revenge himself upon the Seigneur for his close friendship with the Governor. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... was there a wish to bring the question of right to issue. The government therefore connived at the publication of the newspapers; and the conductors of the newspapers carefully abstained from publishing any thing that could provoke or alarm the government. It is true that, in one of the earliest numbers of one of the new journals, a paragraph appeared which seemed intended to convey an insinuation that the Princess Anne did not sincerely rejoice at the fall of Namur. But the ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... hiding. But when I thought of the innumerable dangers which surrounded us and the comparatively small amount of ammunition that I had with me, I hesitated to provoke a battle with Buckingham and his warriors when, by flight, I could avoid them and preserve my cartridges against emergencies which could not ...
— The Lost Continent • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... generally rude enough. So are those of a poet, or any other artist. I have often wished I might see the first picture that such a man as Titian, or Rubens, or Reynolds, or West, ever drew. It would interest me much, and, I suspect, would provoke a smile or two, at the expense of ...
— The Diving Bell - Or, Pearls to be Sought for • Francis C. Woodworth

... to the treaty, it may, perhaps, be considered in a fair way to be finally accepted. At the winter souk every person of influence and authority in the country will be present, and in the form in which I have presented it, I believe it will provoke little or no opposition. The clauses with reference to religion and the slave-trade have, of course, been left out; the first as unnecessary, the second as dangerous at this early stage of our proceedings. ...
— Narrative of a Mission to Central Africa Performed in the Years 1850-51, Volume 1 • James Richardson

... in Christ Jesus, will we then offend that good Redeemer and provoke His anger? Will we trample again upon that torn and mangled corpse? Will we spit upon that face so full of sorrow and love? Will we too, like the cruel jews and the brutal soldiers, mock that gentle and compassionate Saviour Who trod alone for our sake the awful wine-press of sorrow? ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... fought, then, after the supreme indignity and outrage we had suffered, would have been to provoke every further wrong, and to furnish the means for its commission. It would have been to placard ourselves on the walls of the shattered fort, as the spiritless race the proud labor-thieves called ...
— Pages From an Old Volume of Life - A Collection Of Essays • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... the romantics, the romantics by the realists; each was a protest and a reaction against its predecessor. These swerving movements must have a cause. Now there are no reactions in literature unless there is some excess to provoke them. The existence of a reaction is a symptom of disease, and not only would it never take place apart from disease, but there is always a chance that it may go too far; for as in the body, so in the world of letters, a balance once disturbed ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... it was seasonable to sing praise to God, they were to do it with the spirit and the understanding also; 'not in the miserable, scandalous doggerel of Sternhold and Hopkins, but in psalms and hymns which are both sense and poetry, such as would sooner provoke a critic to turn Christian than a Christian to turn critic;' they were to sing 'not lolling at their ease, or in the indecent posture of sitting, but all standing before God, praising Him lustily and with a good courage;' there was to be 'no repetition of words, no dwelling ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... nursing improves the character. Look at that frivolous girl Fanny, how she has come out. And you know, Zoe, if you get sick of it in a day or two, you have only to write to me, and I will send for you directly. A short absence, with so reasonable a motive as visiting a sick aunt, will provoke no comments. It ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... and an agreeable romance only. The other achieves an extraordinarily brilliant and incisive study of the Latin-American temperament—a full length exposure of the perverse passions and incomprehensible ideals which provoke presumably sane men to pursue one another like wolves, and of the reactions of that incessant pursuit upon the men themselves, and upon their primary ideas, and upon the institutions under which they live. I do not say that Conrad ...
— A Book of Prefaces • H. L. Mencken

... in an angry tone, 'I will wait no longer.' As he said this, he moved on with the light, and Emily, fearing to provoke him by further delay, reluctantly followed. From the steps, they proceeded through a passage, adjoining the vaults, the walls of which were dropping with unwholesome dews, and the vapours, that crept along the ground, made the torch burn so dimly, that Emily expected every moment to see ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... a pause. Mrs. Mansfield knew very well that a sentence from her at this moment would provoke in Charmian an outburst of sincerity. But she hesitated to speak that sentence. For a voice within her whispered, "Am I ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... of a pall-bearer, indicates some enemy will provoke your ill feeling, by constant attacks on your integrity. If you see a pall-bearer, you will antagonize worthy institutions, and make yourself obnoxious ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... tramped by on foot with bags and banners. One detachment stopped before the black-veiled statue of Strasbourg and laid a garland at her feet. In ordinary times this demonstration would at once have attracted a crowd; but at the very moment when it might have been expected to provoke a patriotic outburst it excited no more attention than if one of the soldiers had turned aside to give a penny to a beggar. The people crossing the square did not even stop to look. The meaning ...
— Fighting France - From Dunkerque to Belport • Edith Wharton

... and vowed that he was her own dear pet and the only little man she adored. He was no longer afraid of Georges, whom his mother kept down at Les Fondettes. There was only fat Steiner to reckon with, and he believed he was really ousting him, but he did not dare provoke an explanation on his score. He knew he was once more in an extraordinary financial scrape and on the verge of being declared bankrupt on 'change, so much so that he was clinging fiercely to the shareholders in the Landes Salt Pits and striving to sweat ...
— Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille • Emile Zola

... I am taking you just where you are destined to go. As to my name, that is my affair. Remember, your safety depends on me; certainly, you had better not provoke me, or——" here his speech suddenly came to an end, and a fresh series of yells followed to the excited horses, which all this time were tearing along as though a troop of fiends were ...
— Funny Big Socks - Being the Fifth Book of the Series • Sarah L. Barrow

... these occasions hostilities were averted. Not so on the next occasion, when Russia abandoned her attitude of recueillement. When the Eastern question was raised in 1875 by the insurrection of Herzegovina, Alexander II. had no intention or wish to provoke a great European war. No doubt he was waiting for an opportunity of recovering the portion of Bessarabia which had been ceded by the treaty of Paris, and he perceived in the disturbed state of Eastern Europe a possibility of obtaining the desired rectification of frontier, but he hoped to effect ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... aim at suggested that explanation, for not much harm ought to be done with a few shots directed that way. Not much of what you might call 'material harm' I mean. But there was no end to the harm such an incident could do, if there'd been nothing to provoke it. You see the situation as March says ...
— Secret History Revealed By Lady Peggy O'Malley • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... the ships of the Achaeans, for else, no man however strong and in his prime would dare to come to our host; he could neither pass our guard unseen, nor draw the bolt of my gates thus easily; therefore, provoke me no further, lest I sin against the word of Jove, and suffer you not, suppliant though ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... Bras-Coupe and Palmyre need not be considered irreversible; but the don was not desirous of disappointing his terrible pet. Palmyre, unluckily, played her game a little too deeply. She thought the moment had come for herself to insist on the match, and thus provoke Agricola to forbid it. To her incalculable dismay she saw him a second time reconsider and ...
— The Grandissimes • George Washington Cable

... usurper of the popedom, a wolf that had stolen into the fold. They called upon him to descend at once from the throne which he occupied without canonical title; if repentant, he might find mercy; if he persisted he would provoke the indignation of God, of the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, and all of the saints, for his violation of the Spouse of Christ, the common Mother of the Faithful. It was signed by thirteen cardinals. The more pious and devout were shocked at this avowal ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... did Rome lose this faith so highly celebrated? when did she cease to be what she was before? at what time, under what Pontiff, by what way, by what compulsion, by what increments, did a foreign religion come to pervade city and world? What outcries, what disturbances, what lamentations did it provoke? Were all mankind all over the rest of the world lulled to sleep, while Rome, Rome I say, was forging new Sacraments, a new Sacrifice, new religious dogma? Has there been found no historian, neither Greek nor Latin, neither far nor near, to fling out in his chronicles ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... wrong, Dolly," replied the kind-hearted sailor, repenting of his sudden burst of passion; "but you do so provoke me by your ill-humor, your eternal contradiction, and your old-maidish ways, that it is impossible for a man always to keep his temper. It's a hard thing for a fellow's wife to have the command of the ship, but it seems deucedly ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... tell. We shall be required to watch the premises of the citizens, and to convey all valuables to places of safety. The policy is not to provoke a battle, but to entrap them nearer and nearer the city by holding out baits till they can be apprehended in a body. To do this, we shall be divided into small squads, perhaps only two persons allotted ...
— Idle Hour Stories • Eugenia Dunlap Potts

... (1) vocal, vocation, advocate, irrevocable, vociferous, provoke, revoke, evoke, convoke; (2) vocable, vocabulary, avocation, equivocal, invoke, ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... nothing remarkable about him except the expression of his face. He was neither tall nor short, neither handsome nor ugly, neither lively nor morose. He talked a little with his next neighbour, Matthew Foljambe, but there was nothing in the manner of either to provoke curiosity as to the subject of their conversation. But his expression puzzled Amphillis. He had dark eyes—like the Countess's, she thought; but the weary and sometimes fiery aspect of hers was replaced in these by a look of perfect contentment and peace. Yet it was utterly ...
— The White Lady of Hazelwood - A Tale of the Fourteenth Century • Emily Sarah Holt

... why it pretends that the most metaphysical passage of your most metaphysical poem is a specimen of the clearness of your general style. The wretched priest-like cunning and undertoned malignity of that review of Prometheus is indeed a homage paid to qualities which can so provoke it. The Quarterly pretends now, that it never meddles with you personally,—of course it never did! For this, Blackwood cries out upon it, contrasting its behaviour in those delicate matters with its own! This is better and better, and the ...
— Selected English Letters (XV - XIX Centuries) • Various

... on in this sullen manner about a mile, Fergus resumed the discourse in a different tone. 'I believe I was warm, my dear Edward, but you provoke me with your want of knowledge of the world. You have taken pet at some of Flora's prudery, or high-flying notions of loyalty, and now, like a child, you quarrel with the plaything you have been crying for, and beat me, your faithful keeper, because my arm cannot reach to Edinburgh to ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... awoke, and the vapour had penetrated the mineral layer heaped up at the bottom of the crater. But would the subterranean fires provoke any violent eruption? This was an event which could not be foreseen. However, even while admitting the possibility of an eruption, it was not probable that the whole of Lincoln Island would suffer from it. The flow of volcanic matter is not always disastrous, and the island had already ...
— The Secret of the Island • W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)

... to dinner. Still she could not overcome her dread of meeting her, and she grew more and more averse to mingling in society, where she might do many things to mortify her husband or his family, and thus provoke a scene she hoped never again ...
— Family Pride - Or, Purified by Suffering • Mary J. Holmes

... been great. Guessing, at last, that it was meant for Austria, a Power rather dear to Leopold, he can suppress himself no longer; but breaks out into Cassandra prophesyings, which have piqued the young King, and provoke this return:— ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... 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 ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... really proud; and he was also bright enough to understand that the possession of such unbounded wealth would provoke dangerous inquiry at home. But he didn't like to say it, and only ...
— Openings in the Old Trail • Bret Harte

... object, and, what is more, the natural and necessary end. This end will be pursued without accomplishment; such a bill will either fail in the debate, or in the application. If it passes, and after the debate which it cannot fail to provoke, the fundamental question, the question of the future, will escape from the Chamber, and seek its solution without, in the intervention of the masses. If the bill is rejected, the question may be confined within the Chamber; but it will no longer be ...
— Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time - Volume 1 • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot



Words linked to "Provoke" :   vex, cause, call down, set off, spite, hurt, invoke, overwhelm, overcome, make, provocation, foment, discomfit, chivy, gravel, heat, chafe, get at, challenge, rekindle, interest, tempt, rag, discompose, beset, wake, bother, irritate, upset, create, devil, anger, wound, stir up, hassle, strike a chord, untune, instigate, torment, provocative, rile, ignite, prick, overtake, rejuvenate, conjure, nettle, disconcert, shame, needle, incite, goad, ask for, stir, get to, bruise, kindle, put forward, shake up, injure, lure, fire up, arouse, haze, nark, dun, inflame, crucify, shake, agitate, frustrate, call forth, overpower, infatuate, entice, conjure up, whelm, pick, touch a chord, bedevil, offend, bring up, jog, annoy, invite, excite, do, draw, sweep over



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