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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Okay, pundits say, the passenger can invoke a remote agent of the fleet that is overseeing the self-driving cars. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 Plaintiffs may also seek attorneys’ fees, typically at least $25,000 per case, and in California can invoke a state law imposing civil penalties of $4,000 per ADA violation. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Aug. 2021 But if there is no possibility of a criminal prosecution, then an individual cannot invoke the Fifth Amendment and must answer questions. Erwin Chemerinsky, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021 States can also invoke principles of customary international law in international courts, such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. Leonard Hammer, The Conversation, 13 May 2021 Biden can invoke an array of emergency powers to ensure supplies keep flowing to big cities and airports along the East Coast. Jordan Robertson, Fortune, 11 May 2021 Can Rudy Giuliani invoke attorney-client privilege to prevent prosecutors from obtaining or using documents seized from his home and office pursuant to a search warrant? Elie Honig, CNN, 11 May 2021 Biden can invoke an array of emergency powers to keep fuel flowing. al, 10 May 2021 President Joe Biden can invoke an array of emergency powers to ensure supplies keep flowing to big cities and airports along the East Coast. BostonGlobe.com, 10 May 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for invoke

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near invoke

invoice

invoke

involatile

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Statistics for invoke

Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Invoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/invoke. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for invoke

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

invoke

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on invoke

Nglish: Translation of invoke for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invoke for Arabic Speakers

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