Etymology
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provoke (v.)

late 14c., provoken, in medicine, "to induce" (sleep, vomiting, etc.), "to stimulate" (appetite), from Old French provoker, provochier (12c., Modern French provoquer) and directly from Latin provocare "call forth, challenge," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + vocare "to call," which is related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Related: Provoked; provoking. The general sense of "urge, incite, stimulate to action" is from c. 1400.

updated on December 27, 2020

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