[in-vi-tey-shuh n]


the act of inviting.
the written or spoken form with which a person is invited.
something offered as a suggestion: an invitation to consider a business merger.
attraction or incentive; allurement.
a provocation: The speech was an invitation to rebellion.


Origin of invitation

1590–1600; < Latin invītātiōn- (stem of invītātiō), equivalent to invītāt(us) (past participle of invītāre to invite) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspre·in·vi·ta·tion, nounre·in·vi·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for invitation

Contemporary Examples of invitation

Historical Examples of invitation

  • He accepted Percival's invitation that afternoon to go down into the Street with him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She knew, only too well, that Althea's invitation to dinner had not been disinterested.

  • He had an invitation to the opposite coast which he thought he would accept.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Dirk he never had no invitation—never heard anything about it.

  • Handel declined the invitation, but resolved to go to Italy as soon as he could do so "on his own bottom."


    Edward J. Dent

British Dictionary definitions for invitation



  1. the act of inviting, such as an offer of entertainment or hospitality
  2. (as modifier)an invitation dance; an invitation race
the act of enticing or attracting; allurement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for invitation

mid-15c., from Latin invitationem (nominative invitatio) "an invitation, incitement, challenge," noun of action from past participle stem of invitare "invite, treat, entertain," originally "be pleasant toward," from in- "toward" (see in- (2)). Second element is obscure; Watkins suggests a suffixed form of root *weie- "to go after something, pursue with vigor," and a connection to English gain (see venison). Meaning "the spoken or written form in which a person is invited" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper