Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “provocative”

provocative

adjective uk   /prəˈvɒk.ə.tɪv/ us    /-ˈvɑː.kə.t̬ɪv/

provocative adjective (CAUSING THOUGHT)

causing thought about interesting subjects: The programme will take a detailed and provocative look at the problem of homelessness.

provocative adjective (MAKE ANGRY)

causing an angry reaction, usually intentionally: a provocative question/remark In a deliberately provocative speech, she criticized the whole system of government.

provocative adjective (SEXUAL)

If behaviour or clothing is provocative, it is intended to cause sexual desire: She slowly leaned forward in a provocative way.
provocatively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
She dresses very provocatively (= intending to cause sexual interest).
(Definition of provocative from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of provocative?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Annoying, but you might be interested in these topics from the Anger topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “provocative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

yo

used as an informal greeting between people who know each other or as an expression of approval

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More