c. 1400, provocacioun, "incitement, urging," from Old French provocacion (12c.) and directly from Latin provocationem (nominative provocatio) "a calling forth, a summoning, a challenge," noun of action from past-participle stem of provocare "to call out" (see provoke). Specifically "act of exciting anger or vexation" (early 15c.); the meaning "anything that excites anger, a cause of resentment" is by 1716.
updated on December 27, 2020