verb \ i-ˈvōk \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

Definition of evoke

evoked; evoking
1 : to call forth or up: such as
a : to bring to mind or recollection
  • this place evokes memories
b : to cite especially with approval or for support : invoke
c : conjure 2a
  • evoke evil spirits
2 : to re-create imaginatively

Examples of evoke in a Sentence

  1. The old house evoked memories of his childhood.

  2. His photographs evoke the isolation and solitude of the desert.

Recent Examples of evoke from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'evoke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

evoke or invoke?

Don’t feel bad if you have difficulty remembering the difference between evoke and invoke, as the words are quite similar in many ways and have considerable overlap in meaning. However, the words do differ, and you would not want to substitute one for the other. Invoke is used of putting into effect or calling upon such things as laws, authority, or privilege (“the principal invoked a rule forbidding students from asking questions”). Evoke is primarily used in the sense “to call forth or up” and is often found in connection with such things as memories, emotions, or sympathy.

Origin and Etymology of evoke

French évoquer, from Latin evocare, from e- + vocare to call — more at vocation

Synonym Discussion of evoke

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent.
    • educed order out of chaos
evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory.
    • a song that evokes warm memories
elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response.
    • careful questioning elicited the truth
extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information.
    • extracted a confession from him
extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly.
    • extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

EVOKE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of evoke for English Language Learners

  • : to bring (a memory, feeling, image, etc.) into the mind

  • : to cause (a particular reaction or response) to happen

EVOKE Defined for Kids


verb \ i-ˈvōk \

Definition of evoke for Students

evoked; evoking
: to bring to mind The photos evoked memories of our trip.

Word Root of evoke

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.

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