invoke

verb
in·​voke | \ in-ˈvōk How to pronounce invoke (audio) \
invoked; invoking

Definition of invoke

transitive verb

1a : to petition for help or support
b : to appeal to or cite as authority
2 : to call forth by incantation : conjure
3 : to make an earnest request for : solicit
4 : to put into effect or operation : implement

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Other Words from invoke

invoker noun

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 invoke in a Sentence

Nietzsche is so complex that he can be invoked in support of many outlooks, some of them brutal or nihilistic. — Thomas Nagel, New Republic, 14 Jan. 2002 There are some people who commit murder as a way of invoking the death penalty. Capital punishment can sometimes, then, be equivalent to suicide. — George Freeman Solomon, People, 17 Jan. 1977 We began poring over the typewritten recipes at the dining room table, where I foolishly invoked the name of Julia Child … — Gael Greene, New York, 13 Sept. 1971 He invoked the memory of his predecessor. She invoked history to prove her point. He invoked his Fifth Amendment privileges. The suspect invoked his right to an attorney. invoke the authority of the court
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Recent Examples on the Web

Extraditions happened regularly for a while, but eventually, though, Chinese authorities grew reluctant to invoke the extradition ordinance. Mary Hui, Quartz, "China used to find it too humiliating to send Hong Kong extradition requests," 10 June 2019 A dozen years later, Justice Antonin Scalia invoked Korematsu as one of the most notorious mistakes of the court, alongside the Dred Scott decision, the pre-Civil War case denying freedom and citizenship to black slaves brought into free states. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Korematsu, Notorious Supreme Court Ruling on Japanese Internment, Is Finally Tossed Out," 26 June 2018 Owens rarely speaks of her immediate family, but often invokes her grandfather as a model black American. NBC News, "YouTube tested, Trump approved: How Candace Owens suddenly became the loudest voice on the far right," 23 June 2018 Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson kicked off a February swing through Latin America by invoking the doctrine as a warning to China to lay off the heavy economic investments in the region. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pence replacing Trump at Peru summit. But name that matters most is Monroe.," 11 Apr. 2018 Another potential plan involved invoking Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to mandate that struggling coal and nuclear plants stay open either through compulsory purchases by grid managers or through subsidies. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump’s coal rescue is getting more complicated," 16 Oct. 2018 Short press the main button: see all apps Long press the main button: invoke Google Assistant to ask questions via voice Let’s examine the changes one by one. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google is revamping the Wear OS smartwatch user interface," 29 Aug. 2018 Even white suffragists, positioning themselves as more entitled to the vote than black men, invoked her name. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, "Dismissed as a forgery, could a mysterious stone found near Roanoke’s ‘Lost Colony’ be real?," 5 July 2018 How dare Patton invoke the good name of Run-DMC into his foolishness. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "GOP Senate Candidate Who Dressed as a Blackface 'Rapper' Issues Half-Ass Apology and Points Out His Black Friends," 18 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for invoke

Middle English envoken, from Middle French invoquer, from Latin invocare, from in- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice

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Statistics for invoke

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invoke

The first known use of invoke was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for invoke

invoke

verb

English Language Learners Definition of invoke

formal
: to mention (someone or something) in an attempt to make people feel a certain way or have a certain idea in their mind
: to refer to (something) in support of your ideas
: to make use of (a law, a right, etc.)

invoke

verb
in·​voke | \ in-ˈvōk How to pronounce invoke (audio) \
invoked; invoking

Kids Definition of invoke

1 : to ask for aid or protection (as in prayer)
2 : to call forth by magic invoke spirits
3 : to appeal to as an authority or for support She invoked the Sunday rule as soon as he returned from the skateboard park and a family outing was launched.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
in·​voke | \ in-ˈvōk How to pronounce invoke (audio) \
invoked; invoking

Legal Definition of invoke

1 : to appeal to as furnishing authority or motive
2 : to put into legal effect or call for the observance of : enforce invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege
3 : to introduce or put into operation invoking economic sanctions
4 : to be the cause of regulations that invoke problems in enforcement

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More from Merriam-Webster on invoke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with invoke

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for invoke

Spanish Central: Translation of invoke

Nglish: Translation of invoke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invoke for Arabic Speakers

Comments on invoke

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