One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he remained calm despite severe provocation’
goading, prodding, egging on, incitement, rousing, stirring, stimulation, prompting, inducement, encouragement, urging, inspiration, stimulus, pressure
annoyance, irritation, nettling, agitation, vexation, being rubbed up the wrong way
harassment, plaguing, molestation
teasing, taunting, torment
informal hassle, aggravation
2‘without provocation, Jones punched Mr Cartwright’
justification, excuse, pretext, occasion, call, motivation, motive, cause, grounds, reason, purpose, need
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