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

Whimsical speak for the fact that OOKIOH's bright, primary color schemed minimalist suits invoke a heavy dose of travel lust and an itch too book an Instagrammable beach vacation, ASAP. Allie Briggs, refinery29.com, "The New Eco-Friendly Swimsuit Brand That's All Under $100," 26 Mar. 2018 In that sense, Maybin’s presence on this year’s Miami roster can invoke a feeling of what could have been. Mike Persak, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cameron Maybin helping Marlins young players deal with the pressures of expectations," 12 July 2018 Republican senators already killed the judicial filibuster when Democrats invoked it in a futile effort to block Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation last year. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Anthony Kennedy’s Great Legacy: His Exit," 27 June 2018 Rogers soaks up their groundbreaking ideas and invokes them in his calling — reaching, teaching and nurturing children through his television program. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Won't You Be My Neighbor?': Moving doc about TV pioneer Mister Rogers," 7 June 2018 In interviews and in online forums, several residents have invoked Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess said to live inside Kilauea, when asked about the fate of their homes. Author: Amy B Wang, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Pele’s the boss’: Hawaiians ride out uncertainty as lava devours more Big Island homes," 8 May 2018 In the New Hampshire case, Carman has invoked the Fifth Amendment in refusing to provide bank, tax and other financial records. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Boater offers few answers in grandfather's shooting and mother's presumed death at sea," 3 Apr. 2018 Last week, Gillette released—to mixed consumer reactions—a campaign invoking the #MeToo movement. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "P&G Raises Outlook After Another Quarter of Strong Sales," 23 Jan. 2019 But privilege confers responsibility beyond itself, and one need not invoke pitchforks marching up the eighteenth fairway to show why MBA students have self-interested reasons for rethinking our ideology. John Benjamin, The New Republic, "Business Class," 14 May 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

22 Mar 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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