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provoke
used in Middlemarch

12 uses
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Definition
to cause a reaction — typically an emotional reaction such as anger; and sometimes caused intentionally
  • Mary was sewing swiftly, and seemed provokingly mistress of the situation.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (15% in)
  • "I am not joking; I am as serious as possible," said the Rector, with a provoking little inward laugh.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (54% in)
  • She would not have said so if you had not provoked her.
    Book 1 — Miss Brooke (**% in)
  • And he was not going to have his vanities provoked by contact with the showy worldly successes of the capital, but to live among people who could hold no rivalry with that pursuit of a great idea which was to be a twin object with the assiduous practice of his profession.
    Book 2 — Old and Young (23% in)
  • "Ah, yes: one of your secret committee," said Mrs. Cadwallader, provokingly.
    Book 4 — Three Love Problems (5% in)
  • After locking up the bureau again, he walked to the window and gazed out as impassibly as he had done at the beginning of the interview, while Raffles took a small allowance from the flask, screwed it up, and deposited it in his side-pocket, with provoking slowness, making a grimace at his stepson's back.
    Book 4 — Three Love Problems (88% in)
  • "Herself," said Will, not indisposed to provoke the charming Mrs. Lydgate.
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (5% in)
  • Dorothea sat by in her widow's dress, with an expression which rather provoked Celia, as being much too sad; for not only was baby quite well, but really when a husband had been so dull and troublesome while he lived, and besides that had—well, well!
    Book 5 — The Dead Hand (56% in)
  • It was a little too provoking even for her self-control that this blooming youngster should flourish on the disappointments of sadder and wiser people—making a meal of a nightingale and never knowing it—and that all the while his family should suppose that hers was in eager need of this sprig; and her vexation had fermented the more actively because of its total repression towards her husband.
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (37% in)
  • No introduction of the business could have been less like that which Lydgate had intended; but her indifferent manner had been too provoking.
    Book 6 — The Widow and Wife (55% in)
  • "Rosamond," he said, turning his eyes on her with a melancholy look, "you should allow for a man's words when he is disappointed and provoked.
    Book 7 — Two Temptations (31% in)
  • Here is Elinor," continued the provoking husband; "she vexed her friends by me: I had hardly a thousand a-year—I was a lout—nobody could see anything in me—my shoes were not the right cut—all the men wondered how a woman could like me.
    Book 8 — Sunset and Sunrise (89% in)

There are no more uses of "provoke" in Middlemarch.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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