He knew that what he was saying was absurd in its injustice; he admitted inwardly, and at last even aloud, the truth of all that the Savage now said about the worthlessness of friends who could be turned upon so slight a provocation into persecuting enemies.
There are no more uses of "provocation" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
Police are expected to hold their temper regardless of the degree of verbal provocation.
the result was a provocation of vigorous investigation