in·vo·ca·tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən \

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, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
invocatory \in-ˈvä-kə-ˌtȯr-ē \ 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

Monday’s ceremony began with American and Indiana flags flying at half-staff, as American Legion Post 54 chaplain Rich Ingram offered the invocation. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Fallen honored at Hobart Memorial Day ceremony," 28 May 2018 Land, an Army veteran of World War II, opened Apopka council meetings with a greeting, a religious invocation, the Pledge and a historical event which occurred in the past on or near the meeting date. Stephen Hudak,, "In a twist on tradition, new Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson turns to school kids for history lesson," 7 May 2018 But some invocations, like Mrs. Cosby’s, have been questionable. New York Times, "With Emmett Till Reference, Camille Cosby Invokes Oft-Used Cultural Touchstone," 4 May 2018 The ceremony will include participants dressed in Civil War regulation uniforms, a rifle salute, the sounding of taps and an invocation by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Historical marker honoring Civil War veterans at Calvary Cemetery to be dedicated on Gettysburg anniversary," 29 June 2018 There have been Christian, Jewish, and Muslim invocations before in the Michigan State House. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Hindu invocation to be delivered for first time in Mich. Legislature," 5 June 2018 But this new ad from South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Kristi Noem might be the sharpest invocation of the movement yet by a statewide candidate. Carrie Dann, NBC News, "Noem campaign invokes harassment case in new SD-GOV ad," 31 May 2018 Arguably, the most beautiful moment in the entire show — Kit and Fiona’s wedding – arose from the invocation of the divine., "The Subversive Role Of Religion In The Handmaid's Tale," 16 May 2018 The dedication of the historical marker will include an invocation by Archbishop Jerome Listecki, a musket salute, speeches and taps sounded by a bugler. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Historical marker honoring Civil War veterans at Calvary Cemetery to be dedicated on Gettysburg anniversary," 29 June 2018

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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Statistics for invocation

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for invocation

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

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English Language Learners Definition of invocation

: the act of mentioning or referring to someone or something in support of your ideas : the act of invoking something

: the act of asking for help or support especially from a god

: a prayer for blessing or guidance at the beginning of a service, ceremony, etc.


in·vo·ca·tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən \

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

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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