agent provocateur

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from French agent provocateur (literally provocative agent)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

agent provocateur (plural agents provocateurs)

  1. A person who secretly disrupts a group's activities from within the group; an instigator, troublemaker.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 50:
      Suspecting that the man was an agent provocateur sent by the Prince, Pottinger told him that regrettably he had neither the knowledge nor the authority to instruct him in this or any other religion.
    • 2012, Nadine El-Enany, The Guardian, 25 Mar 2012:
      The criminalisation of protest has been aided by the director of public prosecution's recent guidelines on prosecuting protesters, which fail to account for the role of the police in prompting violence at demonstrations through tactics such as kettling, the use of batons, agents provocateurs and undercover policing.

Translations[edit]


French[edit]

Noun[edit]

agent provocateur m (plural agents provocateurs, feminine agente provocatrice)

  1. agent provocateur; instigator, troublemaker

Descendants[edit]