provocative

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French provocatif, and its source, Late Latin provocativus, from Latin provocare.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

provocative (comparative more provocative, superlative most provocative)

  1. Serving or tending to elicit a strong, often negative sentiment in another person; exasperating.
  2. Serving or tending to excite, stimulate or arouse sexual interest.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

provocative (plural provocatives)

  1. (obsolescent) Something that provokes an appetite, especially a sexual appetite; an aphrodisiac. [from 15th c.]
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
      She used by way of Provocative, to read the wanton Verses of her Paramour in the day time [...].
    • 1920, Edward Carpenter, Pagan and Christian Creeds, New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., page 165:
      [A]nd that one great and all-important occasion and provocative of these beliefs was actually the rise of self-consciousness — that is, the coming of the mind to a more or less distinct awareness of itself and of its own operation, and the consequent development and growth of Individualism, and of the Self-centred attitude in human thought and action.

Latin[edit]

Adjective[edit]

prōvocātīve

  1. vocative masculine singular of prōvocātīvus