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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"If they can provoke the US and others to build more military actions around them they can tell the population - we need a strong military government, we need nuclear weapons and we need to remain your masters and you will have to sustain the misery in which you live."
Passionate kissing can transfer enough of these allergens to provoke a severe reaction in someone with a peanut allergy.
Even toothbrushing and rinsing the mouth don't dear the allergens right away; levels in saliva can be high enough to provoke a skin reaction from a kiss on the cheek in peanut-allergic children or a more serious systemic reaction in allergic teens who smooch a peanut-eating partner.
I'm sometimes a little hazy about why they became so upset, as I can't see why anything I've said should provoke sudden violence.
Researchers have long known that immune cells derived from bone marrow provoke an infection-stopping inflammatory response in skin wounds.
As mentioned previously, certain medications may provoke GER Consultation with a physician may result in alteration in medication regimens, and diminished GER symptoms.
Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance
But the economic and sociopolitical envirornment in which physicians now practice provokes a kind of "professional grief for many practicing clinicians.