\i-ˈvōk \
evoked; evoking

Definition of evoke 

transitive verb

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 sense 2a evoke evil spirits

2 : to re-create imaginatively

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for evoke


educe, elicit, inspire, raise

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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 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.

Examples of evoke in a Sentence

The old house evoked memories of his childhood. His photographs evoke the isolation and solitude of the desert.

Recent Examples on the Web

Her first solo show at CAAM brings together works that evoke questions of homelessness and itinerancy. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Practitioners spend hours in costumes that evoke military traditions, learning Russian military history and fencing with sharp swords, including foils, epees and sabres. Mauricio Savarese, Fox News, "World Cup host set for historical fencing to forget soccer," 1 July 2018 Anthropologie’s new outdoor collection includes a blue-and-white Wrapped Rattan Indoor/Outdoor Bar Cart ($748) that evokes a chic French outdoor café. Kim Cook, The Seattle Times, "How to bring indoor style to your outdoor entertaining," 26 June 2018 The brand’s third annual Aldo Nights celebration arrived with tacos, frosé, paletas, and artist collaborations that evoked the creativity and free-spiritedness for which the neighborhood is known. Vogue, "L.A. Artists and Influencers Party With Aldo in Venice Beach," 18 June 2018 Is there another tournament on Earth that evokes such passion? Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Are you not entertained? The U.S. Open was an all-time classic," 18 June 2018 Gilbert Gilbert Town Councilman Victor Petersen, who was elected in 2011 with an outspoken limited-government philosophy that evoked praise and criticism through the years, is not seeking re-election. azcentral, "Election 2018: Here's who wants to run your Valley city," 1 June 2018 Weinstein wore a baby blue sweater, a soothing color that evokes the innocence of childhood. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Harvey Weinstein's Arrest Is Just the Opening Scene," 31 May 2018 Bowen, the director of the Culinaria Center for food law, policy and culture at the National Food and Beverage Foundation, asked Nguyen to make a dish that evokes strong memories. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Watch Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen make egg drop soup, talk food policy," 30 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of evoke

circa 1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for evoke

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about evoke

Phrases Related to evoke

evokes/invites comparison with

Statistics for evoke

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evoke

The first known use of evoke was circa 1622

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for evoke



English Language Learners Definition of evoke

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

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


\i-ˈvōk \
evoked; evoking

Kids Definition of evoke

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on evoke

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!