Definition of provocative in English:

provocative

adjective

  • 1Causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.

    ‘a provocative article’
    ‘provocative remarks about foreign policy’
    • ‘These essays provide a variety of interesting, provocative perspectives on science in Canada.’
    • ‘Nambisan's on a roll; he also has a provocative article on the ethics of sting operations.’
    • ‘Let me change the subject away from race, to Leroi's provocative remarks about beauty and deformity.’
    • ‘The Passionate Eye airs provocative documentaries on leading social and political issues of the day.’
    • ‘On a wide range of issues he has penned important and provocative academic articles.’
    • ‘We don't know whether it is, but it is a highly controversial and provocative book.’
    • ‘During that time they managed to be thoughtful, provocative and, heavens above, interesting.’
    • ‘In 1989 and 1990 there was a spate of provocative articles on the country's past.’
    • ‘I feel fairly sure that your article was deliberately provocative.’
    • ‘The FBU believe that the government is being deliberately provocative, and it is difficult not to share the view.’
    • ‘Stapleton's approach is an extreme one, and perhaps deliberately provocative.’
    • ‘Two distinct reasons are offered for this deliberately provocative conclusion.’
    • ‘I was very pleased to be asked to comment on the engaging and provocative articles in this volume.’
    • ‘We value good writing, as we value controversial and provocative ideas, for their own sake.’
    • ‘Of course, politics could and should be made more accessible, interesting, provocative.’
    • ‘Leading on from this, the article turns provocative when it addresses English and the vexed matter of case.’
    • ‘To be deliberately provocative, I asked him to call this period the Toronto new wave.’
    • ‘British officials strongly advised against the move, warning that it could be seen as provocative or even insulting.’
    • ‘It is passionate yet considered, provocative yet clearly reasoned - and gave me much food for thought.’
    • ‘How is such a rewritten text disturbing, interesting, assaultive, provocative?’
    annoying, irritating, exasperating, infuriating, provoking, maddening, goading, vexing, galling
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    1. 1.1 Intended or intending to arouse sexual desire or interest.
      ‘a provocative sidelong glance’
      • ‘She's especially lucky in regards to the film's provocative treatment of sexuality.’
      • ‘The effect of provocative bra ads on billboards may well be just as arousing as that of Desmond's Celebrity Babes.’
      • ‘Underneath his carping about provocative dress is a jealous and irrational partner.’
      • ‘Glasgow is not the first place where the Ipswich band's deliberately provocative clothing has caused outrage.’
      • ‘The provocative swimwear became a symbol of a Coast offering sun, surf, warmth and excitement.’
      • ‘When I opened them a tall, brunette woman in a provocative green dress stood before me.’
      • ‘In the interwar period there was little more provocative in the arts than a woman in command, celebrating the eroticism of the body.’
      • ‘In fact, cultures that frown upon eye contact as sexually provocative may have a point.’
      • ‘Anything deemed to be too sexy, provocative, or disrespectful would be denied.’
      • ‘Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Hedy Lamarr were the provocative, sensual kind.’
      • ‘It is sexy and glamorous like a rose bouquet, and provocative and intense!’
      • ‘The fashion industry dresses them in sexually provocative clothing.’
      sexy, sexually arousing, sexually exciting, alluring, seductive, tempting, suggestive, inviting, tantalizing, titillating
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French provocatif, -ive, from late Latin provocativus, from provocat- ‘called forth, challenged’, from the verb provocare (see provoke).

Pronunciation

provocative

/prəˈvɒkətɪv/