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invoke

[in-vohk]
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verb (used with object), in·voked, in·vok·ing.
  1. to call for with earnest desire; make supplication or pray for: to invoke God's mercy.
  2. to call on (a deity, Muse, etc.), as in prayer or supplication.
  3. to declare to be binding or in effect: to invoke the law; to invoke a veto.
  4. to appeal to, as for confirmation.
  5. to petition or call on for help or aid.
  6. to call forth or upon (a spirit) by incantation.
  7. to cause, call forth, or bring about.
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Origin of invoke

1480–90; < Latin invocāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + vocāre to call, akin to vōx voice
Related formsin·vo·ca·ble, adjectivein·vok·er, nounre·in·voke, verb (used with object), re·in·voked, re·in·vok·ing.un·in·vo·ca·ble, adjectiveun·in·voked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

conjure, apply, enforce, beseech, pray, request, beg, importune, summon, entreat, implore, crave, solicit, plead, supplicate, adjure, petition, initiate, use, implement

Examples from the Web for invoke

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then she began busily to invoke the protection of all the saints in the calendar.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Invoke not the unhallowed spirits of the abyss; invoke the spotless synod of the Gods.

    Imogen

    William Godwin

  • We have the law with us, and your conduct will lead us to invoke it.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "A law that will hang you if you invoke it," she cut in quickly.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Do you know that it is against your father and your father's brother that you invoke God's vengeance?

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for invoke

invoke

verb (tr)
  1. to call upon (an agent, esp God or another deity) for help, inspiration, etc
  2. to put (a law, penalty, etc) into usethe union invoked the dispute procedure
  3. to appeal to (an outside agent or authority) for confirmation, corroboration, etc
  4. to implore or beg (help, etc)
  5. to summon (a spirit, demon, etc); conjure up
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Derived Formsinvocable, adjectiveinvoker, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Latin invocāre to call upon, appeal to, from vocāre to call

usage

Invoke is sometimes wrongly used where evoke is meant: this proposal evoked (not invoked) a strong reaction
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 invoke

v.

late 15c., from Middle French envoquer (12c.), from Latin invocare "call upon, implore," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + vocare "to call," related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (see voice (n.)). Related: Invoked; invoking.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper