in·​vo·​ca·​tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce invocation (audio) \

Definition of invocation

1a : the act or process of petitioning for help or support specifically, often capitalized : a prayer of entreaty (as at the beginning of a service of worship)
b : a calling upon for authority or justification
2 : a formula for conjuring : incantation
3 : an act of legal or moral implementation : enforcement

Other Words from invocation

invocational \ ˌin-​və-​ˈkā-​shnəl How to pronounce invocation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
invocatory \ in-​ˈvä-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce invocation (audio) \ adjective

Examples of invocation in a Sentence

his repeated invocations of the ancient philosophers justifying his position by invocation of the past The poem begins with an invocation of the Muses. They began the meeting with an invocation.
Recent Examples on the Web While many of the posts Advance Democracy identified appeared to have little engagement, all the posts are illustrative of a trend of frequent invocation of violence in these online communities. Donie O'sullivan And Whitney Wild, CNN, 22 June 2022 The Progressive Caucus, having backed the idea of the president acting more unilaterally, welcomed Biden’s invocation of the act on energy issues in a statement last week. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 14 June 2022 This third invocation aims more squarely at guiding Cargill — which makes corn byproducts, sweeteners and oils essential for formula — to rate its formula clients above others. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 27 May 2022 Theaters are superstitious places, sites of myth, ceremony and invocation. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 Features the Fort Lauderdale Symphonic Winds, opening hymn, invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, remarks, parade of colors and dove release. Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel, 27 May 2022 In a typical three-hour session, the journey begins with an invocation to support a departure from this realm into a transformational space. Melissa Whippo, Glamour, 23 June 2022 The temple sued the city in 2018 after one of its members was barred from giving an invocation at a Scottsdale City Council meeting in 2016. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, 11 Feb. 2022 Traveling a few blocks down the street, the congregation ended outside a nearby church, where Madonna, framed by the ecclesiastical doors behind her, offered an invocation. Michael Appler, Variety, 9 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invocation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of invocation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for invocation

Middle English invocacioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French invocation, from Latin invocation-, invocatio, from invocare

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Time Traveler for invocation

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The first known use of invocation was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Invocation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for invocation


in·​vo·​ca·​tion | \ ˌin-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce invocation (audio) \

Legal Definition of invocation

1 : a calling upon for authority or justification
2 : an act of legal implementation an invocation of the contract clause

More from Merriam-Webster on invocation

Nglish: Translation of invocation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invocation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about invocation


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