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Conduct by which one induces another to do a particular deed; the act of inducing rage, anger, or resentment in another person that may cause that person to engage in an illegal act.

Provocation may be alleged as a defense to certain crimes in order to lessen the severity of the penalty normally imposed. For example, provocation that would cause a reasonable person to act in a heat of passion—a state of mind where one acts without reflection—may result in a reduction of a charge of murder to a charge of voluntary Manslaughter.


noun abuse, actuation, affront, aggression, agitation, angering, annoyance, causation, cause, defiance, exasperation, excitation, excitement, goad, grievance, impulsion, incentive, incitement, inflammation, inspiration, instigation, insult, irritation, motivation, motive, offense, pressure, prick, prodding, prompting, provocative, spur, stimulant, stimulation, stimulus, taunt, temptation, urge, vexation
Associated concepts: defense of provocation, extreme provocation, just provocation, legal provocation
See also: aggravation, basis, catalyst, incentive, inducement, influence, instigation, motive, reason, stimulus


in the criminal law, a doctrine that may mitigate an offence. It will reduce a charge of murder to manslaughter in England or to culpable homicide in Scotland. In the civil law in Scotland, provocation can reduce the damages payable for an assault in delict, but not in England for tort.

PROVOCATION. The act of inciting another to do something.
     2. Provocation simply, unaccompanied by a crime or misdemeanor, does not justify the person provoked to commit an assault and battery. In cases of homicide, it may reduce the offence from murder to manslaughter. But when the provocation is given for the purpose of justifying or excusing an intended murder, and the party provoked is killed, it is no justification. 2 Gilb. Ev. by Lofft, 753.
     3. The unjust provocation by a wife of her husband, in consequence of which she suffers from his ill usage, will not entitle her to a divorce on the ground of cruelty; her remedy, in such cases, is by changing her manners. 2 Lee,, R. 172; 1 Hagg. Cons. Rep. 155. Vide Cruelty; To Persuade; 1 Russ. on Cr. B. 3, c. 1, s. 1, page 434, and B. 3, c. 3, s. 1, pa e 486; 1 East, P. C. 232 to 241.

References in periodicals archive ?
Pyongyang may opt to manage the situation without making any nuclear or missile provocations until the sports event, and this may lead to Seoul and Washington delaying their annual joint military exercise.
Lord Malcolm said: "The principal ground of appeal against sentence, and in our view the only one with any substance, is that the sentencing judge failed to give sufficient weight, or indeed any weight, to the provocation rider added to the jury's verdict of culpable homicide.
There were significant differences between patients with positive and moderate pain provocation in terms of VAS (p=0.
Defense Minister Han Min-koo issued a statement to the public, saying that if the DPRK causes any provocations on the excuse of propaganda broadcasts, the South Korean military will sternly and severely retaliate and make the DPRK pay a harsh price for the provocations.
The latest Turkish provocation came as a surprise, as a week before, on Thursday, the Greek government offered to begging talks about Trust Building Measures between the two neighboring countries.
Exposure to Alcohol Primes Increases Aggression Following Ambiguous Provocation - was conducted via two experiments involving US undergraduates.
actions as "in response to North Korean provocations.
Seoul: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye vowed "strong retaliation" Monday to any provocation by North Korea after Pyongyang declared it was formally at war with Seoul.
The two countries' ministers discussed ways to deter and respond to North Korea's escalating threats of nuclear (war) and provocations and ways to strengthen cooperation in coping with North Korea," spokesman Kim Min Seok said.
Mersel Biljali says that the idea of renaming the roads and settlements with ancient names are a provocation to Greece right before the NATO Summit.
The partial defense of provocation provides that a person who kills in the heat of passion brought on by legally adequate provocation is guilty of manslaughter rather than murder.