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provoke (v.)

late 14c., 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" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Related: Provoked; provoking.

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Definitions of provoke from WordNet

provoke (v.)
call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses);
Synonyms: arouse / elicit / enkindle / kindle / evoke / fire / raise
provoke (v.)
evoke or provoke to appear or occur;
Her behavior provoked a quarrel between the couple
Synonyms: evoke / call forth / kick up
provoke (v.)
provide the needed stimulus for;
Synonyms: stimulate
provoke (v.)
annoy continually or chronically;
Synonyms: harass / hassle / harry / chivy / chivvy / chevy / chevvy / beset / plague / molest
From wordnet.princeton.edu