My teacher's friendly way of teaching provoked my passion for mathematics.

Is this sentence correct? Is the word provoke used for negative purpose only?

  • Your example is correct. Did your dictionary say that "provoke" is negative? – GEdgar Jul 7 '18 at 11:56
  • Might a comedian not provoke a laugh? – Hot Licks Jul 7 '18 at 12:02
  • About this verb, I also have had same question with you. +1. – user193343 Jul 7 '18 at 13:20

Provoke would be a universally dual verb. It may be used for negative impact on a subject, and may also have a positive placement on any given subject. A positive example would be, "The lady I see every morning strangely provokes me to make each and every day somehow extraordinarily purposeful for at least one person". Negative of course "Just looking at her standing there strongly provokes me to curse her out".


provoke TFD

    1. To incite to anger or resentment: taunts that provoked their rivals.

    2. To stir to action or feeling: a remark that provoked me to reconsider.

    3. To give rise to; bring about: a miscue that provoked laughter

    4. To bring about deliberately; induce: provoke a fight.

One can provoke in the positive or negative.

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