evoked; evoking

transitive verb

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

Did you know?

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.

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

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 Once a distinguished gentleman’s bar until the 1990s, The Chinnery exudes an air of timeless elegance, with interiors meticulously preserved to evoke the ambiance of its heyday. Kissa Castañeda, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 The exterior is a rugged matte black, with bright blue numbers and watch hands meant to evoke the color of the eyes of the Fremens. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 24 Feb. 2024 Lobel's prose, utilitarian and unfussy, manages to evoke a kind of sentimentality usually assigned to epics. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 Hanging from the ceiling will be concrete sound clouds designed to improve acoustics and evoke a sense of airiness. Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 As Simon shows in a book organized to evoke a cassette—the two halves of the volume are called Side A and Side B—the impact was dramatic and long lasting. Andrew Simon, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The centuries-old fabric, made by looping, twisting or knitting thread into various open-weave patterns, is more likely to evoke images of quaint cottage curtains or your grandmother’s bridal veil. Emilia Petrarca, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2024 According to her Instagram, the look was intentionally meant to evoke the white prom dress her undead character wore in the cult classic film. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 20 Feb. 2024 The emotional ending of When Harry Met Sally was originally meant to evoke tears of sadness, not joy. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of evoke was circa 1622

Cite this Entry

“Evoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evoke. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


evoked; evoking
: to call forth or up : summon
the song evoked memories of summer

More from Merriam-Webster on evoke

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