[in-vuh-key-shuh n]
See more synonyms for invocation on
  1. the act of invoking or calling upon a deity, spirit, etc., for aid, protection, inspiration, or the like; supplication.
  2. any petitioning or supplication for help or aid.
  3. a form of prayer invoking God's presence, especially one said at the beginning of a religious service or public ceremony.
  4. an entreaty for aid and guidance from a Muse, deity, etc., at the beginning of an epic or epiclike poem.
  5. the act of calling upon a spirit by incantation.
  6. the magic formula used to conjure up a spirit; incantation.
  7. the act of calling upon or referring to something, as a concept or document, for support and justification in a particular circumstance.
  8. the enforcing or use of a legal or moral precept or right.

Origin of invocation

1325–75; Middle English invocacio(u)n < Latin invocātiōn- (stem of invocātiō). See invocate, -ion
Related formsin·voc·a·to·ry [in-vok-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈvɒk əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivepre·in·vo·ca·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for invocation

Contemporary Examples of invocation

Historical Examples of invocation

  • In modern crystal-gazing and mirror-reading, however, there is no invocation.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • It was a prayer, an invocation, to the unknown child, as to the unknown God!

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • In that case, as a Unitarian, I must object to an invocation in which I do not believe.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • I feel the same about the invocation of the saints and about images.

  • The invocation was heard in the breasts from which it was uttered.

    The Reign of Mary Tudor

    W. Llewelyn Williams.

British Dictionary definitions for invocation


  1. the act of invoking or calling upon some agent for assistance
  2. a prayer asking God for help, forgiveness, etc, esp as part of a religious service
  3. an appeal for inspiration and guidance from a Muse or deity at the beginning of a poem
    1. the act of summoning a spirit or demon from another world by ritual incantation or magic
    2. the incantation used in this act
Derived Formsinvocational, adjectiveinvocatory (ɪnˈvɒkətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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 invocation

late 14c., "petition (to God or a god) for aid or comfort; invocation, prayer;" also "a summoning of evil spirits," from Old French invocacion (12c.), from Latin invocationem (nominative invocatio), noun of action from past participle stem of invocare "to call upon, invoke, appeal to" (see invoke).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper