\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

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Synonyms for evoke


educe, elicit, inspire, raise

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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

This retail tradition evokes its own doomsday: bodies trampled by doorbuster deals, overworked and exploited low-wage workers, families trying to make ends meet. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "What doomsday preppers are buying this Black Friday," 21 Nov. 2018 Sorry For Your Loss, starring Elizabeth Olsen, is a prime example—the trailer evokes a big-screen film. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "7 Amazing Web Series You'll Want to Ditch Netflix For," 4 Sep. 2018 The intimacy and vividness of her work, the delicate, fine brushstrokes, recall Delacroix, but the cheeky, unapologetic, and at times challenging attitude of her heroines evokes a model in a pinup magazine. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Lisa Yuskavage’s Art Continues to Defy Characterization," 6 Nov. 2018 The hotel’s design evokes both Scandinavian and Japanese vibes, with lots of Baltic birch casework, high ceilings, and polished concrete floors. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Denver’s Coolest Bars, Restaurants, and Shops Are All in This One Neighborhood," 6 Nov. 2018 The section evokes the sentiment of a British colonial-era law protecting official secrets. Julhas Alam, The Seattle Times, "Bangladesh newspaper editors protest digital security law," 15 Oct. 2018 Part of the historic Cape Grace Hotel and located on the water's edge overlooking the Waterfront Marina, Bascule unwittingly evokes the spirit of Monaco. Seth Shezi, Condé Nast Traveler, "13 Best Bars in Cape Town," 13 Sep. 2018 Fetterman’s physical presence evokes such reaction. John Baer, Philly.com, "John Fetterman will make Pennsylvania's odd couple of politics worth watching," 20 May 2018 Just saying Musk’s name in tech, investing, or economic circles evokes a idolization bordering on techno-deification. Nick Bilton, The Hive, "“Untethered from Reality”: Is Elon Musk Having His Kanye West Moment?," 11 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.

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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

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Statistics for evoke

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for evoke

The first known use of evoke was circa 1622

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on evoke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with evoke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for evoke

Spanish Central: Translation of evoke

Nglish: Translation of evoke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of evoke for Arabic Speakers

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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