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

Davis wrote, adding that Ramos invoked his due process rights and rights to be represented by an attorney. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Prosecutors seek access to Capital Gazette shooting suspect's jail mail; his lawyer says that violates his rights," 12 July 2018 The court, however, did not rule on the issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tonys: Robert De Niro Bashes Trump in Bleeped Moment," 11 June 2018 The decision, however, did not address the larger issue of whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people. Terry Tang, Fox News, "Court upholds Phoenix law over same-sex wedding invitations," 7 June 2018 The tapes thus became public, and their contents made clear that Nixon had actually invoked the privilege to hide his participation in a criminal coverup. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "United States v. Trump," 6 June 2018 But the court is not deciding the big issue in the case, whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Read the full Supreme Court ruling in case of baker who refused to make same-sex wedding cake," 4 June 2018 National Guard forces under state authority are not covered by the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids GIs serving under federal authority from making arrests, searches or seizures in the U.S. unless the president invokes the Insurrection Act. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Governor says another 1,000 Texas Guardsmen headed to border," 9 Apr. 2018 Wayne LaPierre, the group’s chief executive, invoked the phrase after the 2012 massacre of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 Photo: Associated Press One day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, NATO for the first time invoked Article 5, the mutual-defense provision of the treaty. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "NATO’s 2% Target: Why the U.S. Pushed Allies to Spend More on the Military," 12 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

4 Oct 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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Comments on invoke

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