Definition of invoke in English:


Syllabification: in·voke
Pronunciation: /inˈvōk


[with object]
  • 1Cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument: the antiquated defense of insanity is rarely invoked today
    More example sentences
    • Back then the same arguments were used to invoke the people to vote, the same grim scenario of a hardliner-dominated regime who would stifle all the progress made were told and retold again and again.
    • Many of the lefty bloggers have lately been pursuing one of their persuasion's favourite follies: selecting a congenial conclusion and then invoking spurious science to support it.
    • The philosophy of ‘naturalism’ is imposed upon the evidence so that the authority of science is invoked for a secular view of the world.
    cite, refer to, adduce, instance; resort to, have recourse to, turn to
  • 1.1Call on (a deity or spirit) in prayer, as a witness, or for inspiration.
    More example sentences
    • The milder and more beneficent forces of nature were addressed as female deities and invoked with prayers.
    • Listen to our President invoking a deity or prayer in every one of his speeches, and maybe an answer will occur to you.
    • But when the Goddess was invoked by the priestess, I felt what I had always experienced as the Holy Spirit come down.
    appeal to, pray to, call on, supplicate, entreat, solicit, beg, implore
    literary beseech
  • 1.2Call earnestly for: she invoked his help against this attack
  • 1.3Summon (a spirit) by charms or incantation.
    More example sentences
    • Aladdin's nemesis, Jafar, has long since been despatched to the after-life, but his evil sister Nasira has found a way to bring back the dastardly villain by invoking the ‘spell of restoration’.
    • A bearded sorcerer is busy invoking spirits with his incantation, his glazed eyes staring into the distance and all aglow in the dark.
    • Then a grand puja is performed invoking the spirit of Pancha Ganapati in the home.
    summon, call (up), conjure (up)
  • 1.4Give rise to; evoke: how could she explain how the accident happened without invoking his wrath?
    More example sentences
    • It will also be able to add quietly and effectively to its own wealth and to the wealth of its favorite groups, and without incurring the wrath that taxes often invoke.
  • 1.5 Computing Cause (a procedure) to be carried out.
    More example sentences
    • The only possible operation is to read data when Read-Only Mode is invoked.
    • Can I use a Java application instead of a JSP (JavaServer Page) to invoke a servlet on an application server?
    • This article describes the steps to change the default image editor application, which is invoked from the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.



More example sentences
  • One might have thought that invokers of national security would be alert to the menace.
  • As a connoisseur, he considers himself equal to ‘the great seers, the invokers and encouragers of beauty’.
  • The drama of his stylistic transformation, from explainer to invoker, says something about the oddity and confidence of this poet.


late 15th century: from French invoquer, from Latin invocare, from in- 'upon' + vocare 'to call'.

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