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agent-provocateur

IPA

How to pronounce agent-provocateur (audio)

Dictionary definition of 'agent-provocateur'

A person who deliberately incites or provokes trouble, usually for political or ideological reasons.
"She was accused of being an agent provocateur for the opposition party."

Detailed meaning of 'agent-provocateur'

The term is often used to describe someone who acts as a spy or infiltrator, working within a group to disrupt or discredit it. An agent provocateur may be used by law enforcement agencies to gather intelligence or to stir up trouble among political or social groups. The goal of an agent provocateur is often to provoke a reaction from the group that can be used to justify repression or to discredit the group in the eyes of the public. The use of agents provocateurs has been a controversial tactic, as it can be seen as unethical or as a violation of civil rights, and it is often used as a means of suppressing dissent and limiting free speech.

History and etymology of 'agent-provocateur'

The noun 'agent-provocateur' has a French origin. It is a combination of two French words: 'agent,' which means 'agent' or 'operative,' and 'provocateur,' which means 'provoker.' In its original French usage, 'agent-provocateur' referred to a person employed by the authorities or a government to infiltrate a group or organization and deliberately incite illegal or disruptive activities. The intention was often to discredit or manipulate the group for political or strategic reasons. The term made its way into English and other languages, retaining its meaning of an individual who, often covertly, instigates trouble or incites provocative actions, typically for political or ideological purposes. Its etymology underscores the role of manipulation and provocation associated with such individuals, particularly in the context of political intrigue and subversion.

Example sentences containing 'agent-provocateur'

1. The group suspected an agent-provocateur among them.
2. The agent-provocateur's role was to create chaos.
3. He posed as an agent-provocateur to gather intelligence.
4. The agent-provocateur's actions led to arrests.
5. The agent-provocateur's tactics are widely condemned.
6. Agents-provocateurs can manipulate public opinion.
7. An agent-provocateur's motives are often hidden.
8. His actions as an agent-provocateur were exposed.
9. The agent-provocateur's goal was to incite a riot.
10. The agent-provocateur was arrested for incitement.
11. They uncovered the true identity of the agent-provocateur.
12. The agent-provocateur sought to undermine the movement.
13. An agent-provocateur's presence can disrupt peaceful gatherings.
14. The agent-provocateur's role is to create turmoil.
15. He was suspected of being an agent provocateur working for the police.
16. The agent provocateur was caught inciting violence among the protesters.
17. He was known for using agent provocateur tactics to disrupt the opposition's plans.
18. She was suspected of being an agent provocateur working for the government.
19. The agent provocateur was discovered trying to incite riots at the event.
20. He was accused of being an agent provocateur working for the foreign government.
21. She was suspected of being an agent provocateur within the organization.
22. The agent provocateur was found to be a member of the opposing group.
23. He was accused of being an agent provocateur in the company's internal affairs.
24. She was suspected of being an agent provocateur working for the rival company.
25. The agent provocateur was found to be spreading false information to create chaos.

Synonyms

synonym

Quiz categories containing 'agent-provocateur'

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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game

Same/different

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Spelling Bee

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