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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 ?
The post Greek President expresses support for Cyprus in wake of Turkish provocations appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
Zakharova told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday that Missile attack against Humaymim base by terrorists could be a staged provocation aimed at derailing the Syrian National Dialogue Congress to be held in Sochi, TASS reported.
If it makes a provocation even though Seoul and Washington agree to delay the drills, it will leave no excuse in North Korea's argument that it is developing the missiles as self-defensive measure against a possible invasion by the allies.
Based on a robust ROK-US combined defense posture, the ROK Government will respond resolutely to any provocation by North Korea.
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 best answer to Turkish provocations is to implement the government plans with regard to the Republic's energy resources, Defence Minister Photis Photiou has said, pointing out "this is exactly what we are doing.
Further provocations will be stronger and if the issue will not be solved now, then later it could lead to war, Tologonov said.
North Korea's internal situation is ominous and therefore, concerns are growing that the North could attempt provocations," Park told the Yonhap News Agency during the visit.
Aliyev's reelection means that the Azeris will continue their provocations against our army.
We must break the vicious cycle of holding negotiations and providing assistance if (North Korea) makes threats and provocations, and again holding negotiations and providing assistance if there are threats and provocations," Park was quoted as saying in the meeting.
actions as "in response to North Korean provocations.