conjure

verb

con·​jure
transitive sense 2 & intransitive senses
ˈkän-jər How to pronounce conjure (audio)
also
ˈkən- How to pronounce conjure (audio)
transitive sense 1
kən-ˈju̇r How to pronounce conjure (audio)
conjured; conjuring ˈkänj-riŋ How to pronounce conjure (audio)
ˈkän-jə-,
ˈkənj-,
ˈkən-jə-;
kən-ˈju̇r-iŋ

transitive verb

1
: to charge or entreat earnestly or solemnly
"I conjure you … to weigh my case well … "Sheridan Le Fanu
2
a
: to summon by or as if by invocation or incantation
b(1)
: to affect or effect by or as if by magic
(2)
: imagine, contrive
often used with up
We conjure up our own metaphors for our own needs …R. J. Kaufmann
conjured up a clever plan to raise the money
(3)
: to bring to mind
words that conjure pleasant images
often used with up
conjure up memories

intransitive verb

1
a
: to summon a devil or spirit by invocation or incantation
b
: to practice magical arts
… prayed and conjured, but all was useless …Herman Melville
2
: to use a conjurer's tricks : juggle
Phrases
conjure with
chiefly British : to treat or regard as important
Victor Hugo is a name to conjure withPeter France

Examples of conjure in a Sentence

a magician who conjures live doves from silk scarves The students conjured a clever scheme to raise the money they needed.
Recent Examples on the Web With awards season coming up in January—starting with the 2024 Golden Globes on January 7th—stylists are now scrambling to conjure up even more fabulous looks. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 5 Dec. 2023 With each note, the instruments conjured the cold, unforgiving realities of the barbed wire and watchtowers that once imprisoned its anonymous composer at Auschwitz-Birkenau. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 Monday was the third straight game he’s conjured a basket just before the halftime buzzer. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 With Charlie having two separate dinners on his plate, the core drama of the episode comes from a mischievous Snoopy (Bill Melendez), who conjures up a nontraditional menu consisting of toast, popcorn and jelly beans (then secretly saves the turkey for himself and Woodstock). Shay Spence, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 More than replicating a vintage look and sound, Payne wanted to summon an emotional spell that enduring films of the past can still conjure. John Jurgensen, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 For many Americans outside the state, Texas’ identity is quickly conjured: Cowboys and football. Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2023 For most people, the idea of identity theft conjures images of anonymous, shady hackers. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 4 Nov. 2023 And there is still the room conjuring a grand ball where mannequins in opulent gowns are standing as though on balconies. Amy Verner, Vogue, 23 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conjure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French conjurer, from Latin conjurare to join in taking an oath, from com- + jurare to swear — more at jury

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of conjure was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near conjure

Cite this Entry

“Conjure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conjure. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

conjure

verb
con·​jure ˈkän-jər How to pronounce conjure (audio) ˈkən- How to pronounce conjure (audio)
in sense 1
kən-ˈju̇(ə)r How to pronounce conjure (audio)
conjured; conjuring
1
: to beg earnestly or solemnly : beseech
2
a
: to call forth (as a spirit or a devil) by magical words
b
: to produce as if by magic
her imagination conjured up a splendid scene
managed to conjure up something for lunch
3
: to practice magic or magical tricks
conjurer noun
or conjuror
ˈkän-jər-ər,
ˈkən-

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