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PROV-O-CA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. provocatio. See Provoke.]

  1. Any thing that excites anger; the cause of resentment. – 1 Kings xxi. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. – Ps. xcv.
  2. The act of exciting anger.
  3. An appeal to a court or judge. [A Latinism, not now used.] – Ayliffe.
  4. Incitement. [Not used.] – Hooker.


Exciting; stimulating; tending to awaken or incite appetite or passion.


Any thing that tends to excite appetite or passion; a stimulant; as, a provocative of hunger or of lust. – Addison.


The quality of being provocative or stimulating.

PRO-VOKE, v.i.

To appeal. [A Latinism, not used.] – Dryden.

PRO-VOKE, v.t. [L. provoco, to call forth; pro and voco, to call; Fr. provoquer; It. provocare; Sp. provocar.]

  1. To call into action; to arouse; to excite; as, to provoke anger or wrath by offensive words or by injury; to provoke war.
  2. To make angry; to offend; to incense; to enrage. Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath. – Eph. vi. Often provoked by the insolence of some of the bishops. – Clarendon.
  3. To excite; to cause; as, to provoke perspiration; to provoke a smile. – Arbuthnot.
  4. To excite; to stimulate; to increase. The taste of pleasure provokes the appetite, and every successive indulgence of vice which is to form a habit, is easier than the last. – Buckminster.
  5. To challenge. He now provokes the sea-gods, from the shore. – Dryden.
  6. To move; to incite; to stir up; to induce by motives. – Rom. x. Bacon. Let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works. – Heb. x.
  7. To incite; to rouse; as, to provoke one to anger. – Deut. xxxii.


Excited; roused; incited; made angry; incensed.


  1. One that excites anger or other passion; one that excites war or sedition.
  2. That which excites, causes or promotes. – Shak.


  1. Exciting into action; inciting; inducing by motives; making angry.
  2. adj. Having the power or quality of exciting resentment; tending to awaken passion; as, provoking words; provoking treatment.


In such a manner as to excite anger.

PRO'VOST, n. [Sax. profost, profast; Dan. provst; G. probst, propst; Arm. provost; Fr. prevôt; Port. and Sp. preboste; It. proposto; from the L. præpositus, placed before, from præpona; præ and pono, to set or place.]

In a general sense, a person who is appointed to superintend or preside over something; the chief magistrate of a city or town; as, the provost of Edinburgh or of Glasgow, answering to the mayor of other cities; the provost of a college, answering to president. In France, formerly, a provost, was an inferior judge who had cognizance of civil causes. The grand provost of France, or of the household, had jurisdiction in the king's house and over its officer. The provost marshal of an army, is an officer appointed to arrest and secure deserters and other criminals, to hinder the soldiers from pillaging, to indict offenders and see sentence passed on them and executed. He also regulates weights and measures. He has under him a lieutenant and a clerk, an executioner, &c. – Encyc. The provost marshal in the navy, has charge of prisoners, &c. The provost of the mint, is a particular judge appointed to apprehend and prosecute false coiners. – Encyc. Provost of the king's stables, is an officer who attends at court and holds the king's stirrup when he mounts his horse. Encyc.


The office of a provost. – Hakewill.

PROW, a.

Valiant. [Not in use.] – Spenser.

PROW, n. [Fr. proue; It. prua and proda; Sp. proa. These may be from the L. prora; but qu. is not proda the original word, and prora a contraction of prodera? The primary sense is that which projects or stretches forward.]

  1. The forepart of a ship. – Dryden.
  2. In seamen's language, the beak or pointed cutwater of a xebec or galley. The upper part is usually furnished with a grating platform. – Mar. Dict.
  3. The name of a particular kind of vessel used in the East Indian seas.

PROW'ESS, n. [Fr. prouesse; It. prodezza, from prode, brave, and as a noun, profit, benefit; Sp. proeza. The primary sense of the root is to stretch, shoot or advance forward, and hence the sense of profit.]

Bravery; valor; particularly, military bravery; gallantry; intrepidity in war; fearlessness of danger. Men of such prowess as not to know fear in themselves. – Sidney.

PROW'EST, a. [superl. of prow.]

Bravest. [Not in use.] – Spenser.


A roving for prey; colloquially, something to be seized and devoured.

PROWL, v.i.

  1. To rove or wander, particularly for prey, as a wild beast; as, a prowling wolf. – Milton.
  2. To rove and plunder; to prey; to plunder. – Tusser.

PROWL, v.t. [I know not the origin of this word, nor from what source it is derived. It may be derived from the root of stroll, troll, with a different prefix.]

To rove over. He prowls each place, still in new colors deck'd. – Sidney.


One that roves about for prey. – Thomson.


Wandering about in search of prey or plunder.


PROX'I-MATE, a. [L. superl. proximus; Fr. proche; approcher, to approach; reprocher, to reproach. The primary sense of the root is to drive or press. See Class Brg.]

Nearest; next. A proximate cause is that which immediately precedes and produces the effect, as distinguished from the remote, mediate or predisposing cause. – Watts.


Immediately; by immediate relation to or effect on. – Bentley.


Next; immediately. [Not used.] – Watts.