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Police are expected to hold their temper regardless of the degree of verbal provocation.
  unfriendly behavior that provokes (causes anger or  incites action such as an attack)
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provocation provocations
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  • Police are expected to hold their temper regardless of the degree of verbal provocation.
  • the result was a provocation of vigorous investigation
  • Trina’s father, Walter Garnett, was a former boxer whose failed career had turned him into a violent, abusive alcoholic well known to local police for throwing a punch with little provocation.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • The trappers whom I interviewed informed me that wolves were rapidly destroying the caribou herds; that each wolf killed thousands of caribou a year just out of blood-lust, while no trapper would think of shooting a caribou except under the most severe provocation.
    Farley Mowat  --  Never Cry Wolf

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  • None of us could figure out the provocation, but that did not matter.
    Leon Leyson  --  The Boy on the Wooden Box
  • With no obvious provocation, he leaped down to the floor and bounced right out of the building like a bright-colored, fur-covered soccer ball.
    Holly Goldberg Sloan  --  Counting by 7s
  • His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • In winter her hands got so red and cracked, they bled at the slightest provocation.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Catching Fire
  • You must realize that you have given Professor Peterkin great provocation.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • He had not the same provocations of exhaustion and hopelessness; he had now something to work for, to struggle for.
    Upton Sinclair  --  The Jungle

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  • He hurried through his plea of provocation, and then he, too, started in about my soul.
    Albert Camus  --  The Stranger
  • We were sitting at a table with a man of about my age and a rowdy little girl, who gave way upon the slightest provocation to uncontrollable laughter.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.
    William Shakespeare  --  Othello, the Moor of Venice
  • But I have other provocations.
    Jane Austen  --  Pride and Prejudice
  • I am frightened and think quickly what I ought to do; for everyone knows that the surgeons in the dressing stations amputate on the slightest provocation.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Fix’s manner had not changed; but Passepartout was very reserved, and ready to strangle his former friend on the slightest provocation.
    Jules Verne  --  Around the World in 80 Days
  • He heard about all the traffic tickets refugees had been receiving, the verbal abuse from officers, and complaints about the way police seemed to react with extreme aggression at the slightest provocation.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United
  • She didn’t dare breathe, or blink even, for fear that he was nothing but a mirage shimmering in the distance, a brittle illusion that would vanish at the slightest provocation.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Most people, fortunately, do not respond with murderous out-bursts even under extreme provocation.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • (Excuse the expression, ma’am: you’d use it yourself if you had my provocation).
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Pygmalion
  • The pack is not attacking the Cullens without provocation.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • She also might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man; she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated by the fresh provocation of being deserted by one of his own species.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • The general proposed to cast lots for the swords, but the president said it was he who had given the provocation, and when he had given it he had supposed each would use his own arms.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Rachel, who sighted imaginary snakes at the least provocation, said, "Jeez oh man," rolled her eyes, and announced her plan to pass the next twelve months in bed.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • He had swept it out of existence, as it seemed, without any provocation, as a boy might crush an ant hill, in the mere wantonness of power.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • In an attempt to expand his borders, he declared war against us, though we had offered no provocation.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • The Brotherhood is against violence and terror and provocation of any kind-aggressive, that is.
    Ralph Ellison  --  Invisible Man
  • His pugnacious tone indicated that they were not about to laugh at Xenophilius, despite the clear provocation.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • I lose my temper on the slightest provocation, flare up, and then it’s all over.
    Daphne du Maurier  --  Rebecca
  • Let the provocation be what it will, whether from a good-natured and conscientious, or a wicked, perverse, and vexatious man; all this we should take as from the over-ruling hand of God, as a punishment for our sins.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe
  • A "miners’ meeting," called on the spot, decided that the dog had sufficient provocation, and Buck was discharged.
    Jack London  --  The Call of the Wild
  • She had a heart which fluttered at any excitement and she pampered it shamelessly, fainting at any provocation.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • "Princess Alyss is dead!" the tree said loudly, as if for the benefit of an unseen but all-hearing force liable to inflict great hurt at the slightest provocation.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • His temper continued very uncertain; for the most part his manner was that of a man suffering under almost unendurable provocation, and once or twice things were snapped, torn, crushed, or broken in spasmodic gusts of violence.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • The human condition meant that this number approached zero without reaching it-you never really completely gave up hope; it might come flooding back at any provocation.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • After that series of provocations, the city exploded into a riot.
    John Howard Griffin  --  Black Like Me
  • Seldom to the point of death unless there were outrageous profit or provocation in it.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • From that moment on, to his dismay, he was nicknamed Kalle Blomkvist by his peers—an epithet employed with taunting provocation, not unfriendly but not really friendly either.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • At the slightest provocation the crowd would become panic-stricken, rushing from one side of the street to the other, choking, pressing close, shouting and cursing.
    Wladyslaw Szpilman  --  The Pianist
  • Nevertheless, I might have contented myself with the story pieced together from these hints had it not been for the provocation of Mrs. Hale’s silence, and-a little later-for the accident of personal contact with the man.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • The case, as represented by the offended parties, was that, after seizing the transports, Major Denisov, being drunk, went to the chief quartermaster and without any provocation called him a thief, threatened to strike him, and on being led out had rushed into the office and given two officials a thrashing, and dislocated the arm of one of them.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • BLOOM: (Angrily) You hit him without provocation.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • Bankruptcy must inevitably have come of this young Pagan, in Lombard-street, London, and also of a curtained alcove in the rear of the immortal boy, and also of a looking-glass let into the wall, and also of clerks not at all old, who danced in public on the slightest provocation.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • Harry had a fleeting impression that Seamus had opened his mouth to speak, but he sped up and reached the soothing peace of the stone spiral staircase without having to endure any more provocation.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • 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.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • "Such as thy arrival," Pablo said softly and Robert Jordan looked across the table at him, saw it was not a provocation but only an expressed thought, then went on.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • There were many people who had sufficient insight to suspect that it was a question of provocation.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • There was only one thing that was capable of arousing her, and that provocation came in on the side of her unusually gentle and sympathetic nature;—anything in the shape of cruelty would throw her into a passion, which was the more alarming and inexplicable in proportion to the general softness of her nature.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • She did not get hysterical, no matter what the provocation.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Glass
  • And we’re not going to be stopped by military provocations.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
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Associated words [difficulty]:   provocation [2] , provoke [1] , provocateur [6]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Classic Literature, Human Behavior, Law
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