provoke

Anything that brings about a strong reaction can be said to provoke. You can provoke that lion if you want. But if he responds by attacking, don't come running to me.

Let's consider some people who have been known to provoke. Lenny Bruce, was more than just a comedian. He was a "provocateur" who used humor to deliver his controversial diatribes. Humor was his way to provoke people to think. Madonna made her name not only by producing a memorable catalogue of great pop songs, she proved herself to be a master at provoking people through her outrageous attire and lyrics. The moral of this story? It's possible to provoke both positive and negative responses.

Definitions of provoke
  1. verb
    provide the needed stimulus for
    synonyms: stimulate
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    types:
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    entice, lure, tempt
    provoke someone to do something through (often false or exaggerated) promises or persuasion
    rejuvenate
    cause (a stream or river) to erode, as by an uplift of the land
    jog
    stimulate to remember
    incite, instigate, set off, stir up
    provoke or stir up
    agitate, foment, stir up
    try to stir up (e.g., public opinion)
    hook, snare
    entice and trap
    seduce
    lure or entice away from duty, principles, or proper conduct
    call
    lure by imitating the characteristic call of an animal
    stool
    lure with a stool, as of wild fowl
    lead on
    entice or induce especially when unwise or mistaken
    tweedle
    entice through the use of music
    raise
    activate or stir up
    decoy
    lure or entrap with or as if with a decoy
    bait
    lure, entice, or entrap with bait
    rumpus
    cause a disturbance
    type of:
    challenge
    issue a challenge to
  2. verb
    call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
    synonyms: arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, pique, raise
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    strike a chord, touch a chord
    evoke a reaction, response, or emotion
    ask for, invite
    increase the likelihood of
    draw
    elicit responses, such as objections, criticism, applause, etc.
    rekindle
    arouse again
    infatuate
    arouse unreasoning love or passion in and cause to behave in an irrational way
    prick
    cause a sharp emotional pain
    fire up, heat, ignite, inflame, stir up, wake
    arouse or excite feelings and passions
    excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
    stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of
    excite
    arouse or elicit a feeling
    anger
    make angry
    discomfit, discompose, disconcert, rattle, untune, upset
    cause to lose one's composure
    shame
    cause to be ashamed
    bruise, hurt, injure, offend, spite, wound
    hurt the feelings of
    overcome, overpower, overtake, overwhelm, sweep over, whelm
    overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
    interest
    excite the curiosity of; engage the interest of
    devastate
    overwhelm or overpower
    absorb, engage, engross, occupy
    consume all of one's attention or time
    clutch, get hold of, seize
    affect
    affront, diss, insult
    treat, mention, or speak to rudely
    ferment
    work up into agitation or excitement
    fuel
    stimulate
    arouse, excite, sex, turn on, wind up
    stimulate sexually
    affright, fright, frighten, scare
    cause fear in
    enervate, faze, unnerve, unsettle
    disturb the composure of
    dissolve
    cause to lose control emotionally
    combust
    cause to become violent or angry
    miff
    cause to be annoyed
    gall, irk
    irritate or vex
    exasperate, incense, infuriate
    make furious
    madden
    make mad
    offend, pique
    cause to feel resentment or indignation
    bemuse, bewilder, discombobulate, throw
    cause to be confused emotionally
    abash, embarrass
    cause to be embarrassed; cause to feel self-conscious
    discountenance
    look with disfavor on
    anguish, hurt, pain
    cause emotional anguish or make miserable
    lacerate
    deeply hurt the feelings of; distress
    sting
    cause an emotional pain, as if by stinging
    enrage
    put into a rage; make violently angry
    thrill, tickle, vibrate
    feel sudden intense sensation or emotion
    afflict
    cause great unhappiness for; distress
    abase, chagrin, humble, humiliate, mortify
    cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
    invite, tempt
    give rise to a desire by being attractive or inviting
    kill
    overwhelm with hilarity, pleasure, or admiration
    benight
    overtake with darkness or night
    knock out
    overwhelm with admiration
    stagger
    astound or overwhelm, as with shock
    lock
    hold fast (in a certain state)
    elate, intoxicate, lift up, pick up, uplift
    fill with high spirits; fill with optimism
    animate, enliven, exalt, inspire, invigorate
    heighten or intensify
    titillate
    excite pleasurably or erotically
    aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate
    exasperate or irritate
    fascinate, grip, spellbind, transfix
    render motionless, as with a fixed stare or by arousing terror or awe
    enthuse
    cause to feel enthusiasm
    type of:
    create, make
    make or cause to be or to become
  3. verb
    evoke or provoke to appear or occur
    “Her behavior provoked a quarrel between the couple”
    synonyms: call forth, evoke, kick up
    arouse, bring up, call down, call forth, conjure, conjure up, evoke, invoke, put forward, raise, stir
    summon into action or bring into existence, often as if by magic
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    types:
    pick
    provoke
    type of:
    cause, do, make
    give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  4. verb
    annoy continually or chronically
    synonyms: beset, chevvy, chevy, chivvy, chivy, harass, harry, hassle, molest, plague
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    goad, needle
    goad or provoke, as by constant criticism
    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment
    treat cruelly
    haze
    harass by imposing humiliating or painful tasks, as in military institutions
    madden
    drive up the wall; get on someone's nerves
    hamstring
    make ineffective or powerless
    badger, beleaguer, bug, pester, tease
    annoy persistently
    oppress, persecute
    cause to suffer
    type of:
    annoy, bother, chafe, devil, get at, get to, gravel, irritate, nark, nettle, rag, rile, vex
    cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations
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