noun, often capitalized
variants: or epiklesis \ ˌepəˈklēsə̇s \
plural epicleses or epikleses\ -​ēˌsēz \

Definition of epiclesis

: a liturgical invocation of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of consecrating the eucharistic elements found particularly in Eastern liturgies where it follows the words of institution and is regarded as the point at which the eucharistic bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for epiclesis

Late Greek epiklēsis, from Greek, surname, title, invocation, from epikalein to summon, invoke, call by a surname (from epi- + kalein to summon) + -ēsis -esis

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on epiclesis

What made you want to look up epiclesis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!