invoke

verb
in·​voke | \in-ˈvōk \
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

Embedded inside the packets is code that’s not detected by traditional security scanning products and gets invoked by the attacker later. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bluetooth bugs bite millions of Wi-Fi APs from Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba," 1 Nov. 2018 Each episode is narrated by astronauts, invoking the unique perspectives of those who have seen our planet from outer space. Hanneke Weitering, Space.com, "Earth's Shields Protect Life from the Sun on 'One Strange Rock'," 9 Apr. 2018 Drastic last-minute moves on both fronts — moves that invoke contradictory themes — are confusing and likely unproductive from a foreign policy standpoint. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The cynical politics of John Bolton’s “Troika of Tyranny”," 1 Nov. 2018 Four people, including Mohsin, were federally charged for their roles in making or getting Max Dobner the synthetic drugs, marketed as incense or potpourri but given names that invoke a drug high. Hannah Leone, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora smoke shop employee gets prison for selling synthetic marijuana after young man's death," 8 Mar. 2018 Even though the Water Is Life Rally was held in the Bible Belt, Rev. Wilson was the only speaker who cited scripture and invoked Jesus Christ. Longreads, "The Koch Brothers vs. God," 14 Mar. 2018 Political observers who are alarmed by President Trump’s tariffs have invoked the Smoot Hawley tariffs that were blamed for deepening the Great Depression in the 1930s. Michael Joe Murphy, OrlandoSentinel.com, "World trade — what everyone needs to know," 11 July 2018 Moore’s biggest hit, invoked the only dance party of his set; naturally, patrons raised their $7.50 cans of Miller Lite high in the air. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 In defending the family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited a Bible passage invoked by defenders of slavery. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "A church put Jesus, Mary and Joseph in ‘ICE detention’ to protest Trump’s immigration policies," 3 July 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

29 Nov 2018

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

: 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 \
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 \
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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