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

Chaplain Willie Springer of the Veterans Outreach Office gave the invocation and closing prayer. Linda G. Kramer,, "Blue Star marker in Berea honors veterans: Community Voices," 13 Sep. 2019 The move was later reversed, with the fire and police departments chaplains now delivering the invocations. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Some push for Scottsdale to end prayer at council meetings amid legal showdown with Satanists," 10 Sep. 2019 In 2014, then-Speaker Sam Smith, a Republican, denied a request by a member of the Dillsburg Area Free Thinkers to give the invocation. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Atheists can be barred from giving invocation at Pennsylvania statehouse, federal court rules," 28 Aug. 2019 And as recently as March this year, senior Democrats rebuked Omar over comments many saw as an invocation of the dual-loyalty trope. Joseph Hincks, Time, "How Trump Fits Into the Long, Fraught History of the Relationship Between Israel and American Jews," 20 Aug. 2019 Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Stephen Witt led an invocation. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Extortion Economy: How Insurance Companies Are Fueling a Rise in Ransomware Attacks," 27 Aug. 2019 Ken Workman, member of the Duwamish tribe and descendant of Chief Seattle, presented the invocation for the performance in both English and the Lushootseed language. Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s waterfront hosts performance by Native youth theater program Red Eagle Soaring," 18 Aug. 2019 Assembly members are not required to attend the invocation to participate in its meetings. Anchorage Daily News, "Satanic Temple invocation prompts walkout at Kenai borough assembly meeting," 20 June 2019 This year’s invocation was by the Rev. Alf Halvorson of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church and benediction by pastor Wick Stuckey of Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "CanCare sells out 25th Silver Anniversary Cancer Survivors Day luncheon," 14 June 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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Statistics for invocation

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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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

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

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


concealment of treason or felony

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