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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.

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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