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 But a majority vote of each house of Congress would be enough to invoke Section 3. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "Senate conviction not only way to punish Trump. Will Congress try another tack?," 10 Feb. 2021 The Senate meets at 10 a.m. and has a vote set for 1:45 p.m. on a motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "‘Under review’: Austin and Blinken sort through which Trump policies to keep, modify, or toss," 28 Jan. 2021 Unfortunately, over time it has been simplified, made easier to invoke and become normalized as a means of obstruction. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: The filibuster, impeachment trial, state aid for rebuilding after riots, Twitter," 28 Jan. 2021 There is never a wrong time to invoke the nuclear option and get rid of the filibuster once and for all. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Mitch McConnell Is Killing the Filibuster," 23 Jan. 2021 It's designed to invoke your most primal desires—whether that's for an exquisite gaming chair, an affordable laptop, or just a machine to squirt out single servings of delicious fro-yo. Adrienne So, Wired, "The 15 Best Devices From CES That You Can Buy Now," 14 Jan. 2021 Trump ultimately did not to invoke the act on Jan. 6. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: The Insurrection Act is not in effect and is unnecessary in DC," 14 Jan. 2021 House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, offered the resolution calling on Pence to invoke his authority during a brief session Monday. Anchorage Daily News, "House moves forward on impeachment as GOP blocks call to remove Trump under 25th Amendment," 11 Jan. 2021 Pelosi's plan seeks a vote on Monday on a resolution calling on Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment. Darlene Superville, Chron, "Pelosi says House will impeach Trump unless VP forces ouster," 10 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for invoke

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for invoke

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Invoke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/invoke. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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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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Comments on invoke

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