View synonyms for invoke


[ in-vohk ]

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. Computers. to cause to be displayed, opened, or executed by clicking on a link, entering a search term, changing a parameter, etc.:

    Press and hold the R key to temporarily invoke the Rotate View tool, then drag your document to rotate.

  8. to cause, call forth, or bring about.


/ ɪnˈvəʊk /


  1. to call upon (an agent, esp God or another deity) for help, inspiration, etc
  2. to put (a law, penalty, etc) into use

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

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Derived Forms

  • inˈvoker, noun
  • inˈvocable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • in·vo·ca·ble adjective
  • in·vok·er noun
  • re·in·voke verb (used with object) reinvoked reinvoking
  • un·in·vo·ca·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of invoke1

First recorded in 1480–90; from Latin invocāre, equivalent to in- in- 2 + vocāre “to call,” akin to vōx voice

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Word History and Origins

Origin of invoke1

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

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Example Sentences

He invoked his trustworthiness as a pastor, narrated facts about the vaccine over the nursing home’s public announcement system and reminded staff that nothing had happened to him or the others who had been vaccinated.

Yet our country has failed to invoke the Defense Production Act to produce enough masks for health-care workers and other essential workers.

O’Connell is fond of invoking instincts in explaining how rituals unfold.

If the case were moved to arbitration, the company could invoke immunity there as well, experts say.

In his victory speech, Warnock, 51, invoked Georgia’s history of racial oppression and voter suppression by hailing his vote from his mother.

Before you invoke images of a nation enjoying more indolence than industry, there is an uncomfortable statistic to digest.

Alas, I must invoke Marx, because it is a question of limited resources.

Do I, a law professor, get to invoke the privilege when I write a piece for The Daily Beast?

Does a personal blogger writing on Facebook get to invoke the privilege?

Perhaps; but why do these films invoke Greek history at all, if they aim only at visual fantasy?

I round the threshold wandering here,Vainly the tempest and the rain invoke,That they may keep my lady prisoner.

How far off and faint seem the years of that dead crime my brother would invoke for the punishment of this sweet soul!

Dan waited for him to invoke deity with the asthmatic wheeziness to which mirth reduced his vocal apparatus.

Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invoke his aid against the other.

But what liberty can he invoke—he who has disavowed and injured all liberties?


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More About Invoke

What does invoke mean?

Invoke means to intensely call for something or call on someone, especially as in a prayer to a god or higher power, as in The holy woman invoked God’s mercy in her prayers.  

Invoke can also mean to call for help from someone (again, usually a god), as in The shamans invoked the gods to save them from the invading army. 

Invoke may also refer to stating that something is in effect, like a law or rule, as in The police invoked the new littering law when they fined Demetri for tossing his soda bottle on the ground. 

And invoke can mean to call or conjure a spirit or demon, as in The warlock invoked a group of infernal imps to do his evil bidding. 

Example: The ritual is meant to invoke the wrath of the gods and bring misfortune to the people’s enemies.

Where does invoke come from?

The first records of the word invoke come from around 1480. It comes from the Latin invocāre, meaning “to call on.” The act of invoking involves calling on someone, usually a god, for help or aid.

The word invoke is most often used in terms of religion or the law. Often, we pray to make a request to a supreme being for something, such as forgiveness, help, or mercy.

In law, a legal act or rule is invoked, or declared, to make clear that is being applied to a situation. For example, Americans will commonly invoke the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution when they don’t want to give a testimony that they believe will incriminate themselves.

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What are some other forms related to invoke?

  • invoker (noun)
  • invocable (adjective)
  • reinvoke (verb)
  • uninvocable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for invoke?

What are some words that share a root or word element with invoke

What are some words that often get used in discussing invoke?

How is invoke used in real life?

Invoke is most often used in reference to religion or laws.

Try using invoke!

Is invoke used correctly in the following sentence?

Mighty Heracles invoked the god Zeus for the strength to defeat the wicked Hydra.