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