in·​vo·​ca·​tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce invocation (audio) \

Definition of invocation

1a : the act or process of petitioning for help or support specifically, often capitalized : a prayer of entreaty (as at the beginning of a service of worship)
b : a calling upon for authority or justification
2 : a formula for conjuring : incantation
3 : an act of legal or moral implementation : enforcement

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Other Words from invocation

invocational \ ˌin-​və-​ˈkā-​shnəl How to pronounce invocational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
invocatory \ in-​ˈvä-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce invocatory (audio) \ adjective

Examples of invocation in a Sentence

his repeated invocations of the ancient philosophers justifying his position by invocation of the past The poem begins with an invocation of the Muses. They began the meeting with an invocation.
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Recent Examples on the Web This false invocation of the civil rights movement highlights the incoherence—not to mention dishonesty—in Zuckerberg’s argument. Wired, "Zuckerberg’s Warped History Lesson and the Age of Incoherence," 18 Oct. 2019 Congressman Mo Brooks of Huntsville welcomed Waldrep to the House floor following the invocation. Paul Gattis |, al, "Decatur evangelist leads Congress in prayer," 17 Oct. 2019 Their constant invocation of coups tends to be a smokescreen for their own flouting of the rules. The Economist, "The end of Evo Morales Was there a coup in Bolivia?," 14 Nov. 2019 Many analysts say Peronists today are united by little more than their invocation of patriotism and Perón’s legacy. Ciara Nugent, Time, "As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Voters Are Falling Back in Love With a Divisive Political Movement," 25 Oct. 2019 Graham gave the pregame invocation – and in the Bible Belt, the evangelist’s presence was at least as noteworthy as the president’s. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "50 years ago, the Big Shootout between Arkansas and Texas lived up to billing," 6 Dec. 2019 An invocation was made, followed by the pledge of allegiance. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Ghost council meeting in Federal Heights speaks to tumult at the top of city government," 4 Nov. 2019 Many of the Italian-leaning dishes are red-sauce joint invocations, starting with the acidic, caloric chopped salad with ’njuja, chickpeas, olives and cheese. Los Angeles Times, "Rustic Canyon’s Jeremy Fox opened Santa Monica’s hottest restaurant of the year," 3 Oct. 2019 Then Bishop Scott Jones of the United Methodist Church delivered the invocation and the St. Martin's Episcopal Church Parish Choir sang a few hymns. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Methodist 100-year "Rendezvous of the Century" gala raises $9.5 million at Minute Maid Park," 15 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invocation.' 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 invocation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for invocation

Middle English invocacioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French invocation, from Latin invocation-, invocatio, from invocare

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Time Traveler for invocation

Time Traveler

The first known use of invocation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for invocation

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Invocation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for invocation


How to pronounce invocation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of invocation

formal : the act of mentioning or referring to someone or something in support of your ideas : the act of invoking something
literary : the act of asking for help or support especially from a god
US : a prayer for blessing or guidance at the beginning of a service, ceremony, etc.


in·​vo·​ca·​tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce invocation (audio) \

Legal Definition of invocation

1 : a calling upon for authority or justification
2 : an act of legal implementation an invocation of the contract clause

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Comments on invocation

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