Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

invoke

play
verb in·voke \in-ˈvōk\

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

in·vokedin·vok·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to petition for help or support b :  to appeal to or cite as authority

  3. 2 :  to call forth by incantation :  conjure

  4. 3 :  to make an earnest request for :  solicit

  5. 4 :  to put into effect or operation :  implement

  6. 5 :  bring about, cause

in·vok·er noun

Examples of invoke

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. He invoked the memory of his predecessor.

  5. She invoked history to prove her point.

  6. He invoked his Fifth Amendment privileges.

  7. The suspect invoked his right to an attorney.

  8. 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



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).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez kittly-benders spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ