Simple Definition of invoke
: to mention (someone or something) in an attempt to make people feel a certain way or have a certain idea in their mind
: to refer to (something) in support of your ideas
: to make use of (a law, a right, etc.)
Full Definition of invoke
Examples of invoke
Nietzsche is so complex that he can be invoked in support of many outlooks, some of them brutal or nihilistic. —Thomas Nagel, New Republic, 14 Jan. 2002
There are some people who commit murder as a way of invoking the death penalty. Capital punishment can sometimes, then, be equivalent to suicide. —George Freeman Solomon, People, 17 Jan. 1977
We began poring over the typewritten recipes at the dining room table, where I foolishly invoked the name of Julia Child … —Gael Greene, New York, 13 Sept. 1971
He invoked the memory of his predecessor.
She invoked history to prove her point.
He invoked his Fifth Amendment privileges.
The suspect invoked his right to an attorney.
invoke the authority of the court
Origin of invoke
Middle English envoken, from Middle French invoquer, from Latin invocare, from in- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice
First Known Use: 15th century
Rhymes with invoke
ad hoc, backstroke, baroque, bespoke, blow smoke, breaststroke, brushstroke, bur oak, chain-smoke, convoke, cork oak, cowpoke, downstroke, evoke, ground stroke, heatstroke, holm oak, in-joke, keystroke, kinfolk, kinsfolk, menfolk, pin oak, post oak, presoak, provoke, red oak, revoke, scrub oak, she-oak, sidestroke, silk oak, slowpoke, sunchoke, sunstroke, tan oak, townsfolk, uncloak, unyoke, upstroke, white oak, workfolk
INVOKE Defined for Kids
Definition of invoke
1 : to ask for aid or protection (as in prayer)
2 : to call forth by magic <invoke spirits>
3 : to appeal to as an authority or for support <She invoked the Sunday rule as soon as he returned from the skateboard park and a family outing was launched. — Carl Hiaasen, Hoot>
Word Root of invoke
The Latin word vox, meaning “voice,” and the related word vocāre, meaning “to call”, give us the root voc or vok. Words from the Latin vox or vocāre have something to do with the voice or with calling. Anything vocal is produced by the voice. A vocation is the work that someone is called to do as a job. To evoke is to call forth. To invoke is to call on for aid or protection. To provoke is to call forth another's anger. The word voice also has vox as its root.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up invoke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).