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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.
provocationnoun 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
provocationin 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.