For example: when you are listening to a song and a piece of it moves you emotionally. What verb could be used to describe the "vivification" of that emotion?

  • 1
    How about "emotive"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 3:02

6 Answers 6


You could say that it stirs emotion(s).

( This is in the sense of awakening, not mixing up.)


Something can evoke a certain emotion or response. "Evoke" is defined by dictionary.com, for instance, as "to call up or produce (memories, feelings, etc.)"


to flush out emotion

means to bring to light emotion

Quality Teaching in a Culture of Coaching - Page 62 Stephen G. Barkley - 2010

... yet a feeling remains just what the person feels. It's neither right nor wrong, appropriate or inappropriate. It's just what's so. As coaches, we can flush out emotion by gently and objectively confirming what we heard (even if we "heard" it


flush out

transitive verb

: to bring to light : make public or available

Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary



[pruh-vok-uh-tiv] -dictionary.com


  1. tending or serving to provoke; inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing.


  1. something provocative.

provoke [pruh-vohk] -dictionary.com

verb: (used with object), provoked, provoking.

  1. to stir up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity): The mishap provoked a hearty laugh.
  2. to incite or stimulate (a person, animal, etc.) to action.
  3. to give rise to, induce, or bring about: What could have provoked such an incident?

Colloquially, provocative connotates a sexual reference (notice the lack of Collins' definition #1 for 'provocative': acting as a stimulus or incitement, esp to anger or sexual desire). IMO, this is only because they're some of our stronger and readily identifiable emotions. However its literal definition, from the Latin: prōvocāre, is to call forth; I.e., eliciting.

Whatever emotions the provocative subject matter provokes are the consumer's prerogative to elicit.

elicit /ēˈlisət/ verb –Google

evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reaction to one's own actions or questions.

  • 1
    "arousing" has a similar meaning, down to the possible sexual meaning.
    – herisson
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 6:12
  • Based on the question, I think "evoke" is better than "provoke", as it has more positive connotations.
    – augurar
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 7:48
  • @augurar - That's in this answer. I came back to add the definition of elicit; what I think the real winner here is.
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 7:51

You could say that it evokes a certain emotion.

Evoke (verb)

: to bring (a memory, feeling, image, etc.) into the mind

: to cause (a particular reaction or response) to happen



touch verb, 15:
to affect with some feeling or emotion, especially tenderness, pity, gratitude, etc.:
Their sufferings touched his heart.
It touches me that you should say such a thing.
The poem really touched me.

If OP wanted an adjective, I could suggest emotive (OED: Arousing or able to arouse strong feeling or emotion), but I don't think there's a noun derivative from that source with exactly the sense required (such that one could refer to the "touchingness" of a poem, say).

In principle, affectiveness ought to work for the abstract noun, but it seems a bit "affected" to me. The best I can come up with is...

poignancy noun, 2:
a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow)

...but as that definition indicates, it's particularly associated with one specific type of emotion.

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