1. The act of provoking or inciting.
2. Something that provokes.
[Middle English provocacioun, from Old French provocation, from Latin prōvocātiō, prōvocātiōn-, a challenging, from prōvocātus, past participle of prōvocāre, to challenge; see PROVOKE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.