Definition of conjure in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkʌndʒə/


1 [with object] (often conjure something up) Cause (a spirit or ghost) to appear by means of a magic ritual: they hoped to conjure up the spirit of their dead friend
More example sentences
  • Nowadays you might expect to hear of ‘animal spirits’ in shamanic ritual, conjuring the spirit of the bear.
  • As Osa dancers perform a stick dance meant to conjure up the spirits of their ancestors, organizers say the festive season is not a denouncement of Western Christian values.
  • Using 200-year-old legislation, he was convicted of pretending to conjure up spirits.
1.1Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere: Anne conjured up a delicious home-made hotpot
More example sentences
  • Each face is conjured from eloquent pencil lines and blurs of paint against a virginal white swath of satin, hung vertically like an iconic banner.
  • Although I broke the law, a mountain was conjured up from a molehill.
  • And is Canada at risk of not getting any of the great new products being conjured up in the US labs?
make something appear, produce, materialize, magic, summon, generate;
whip up
1.2Call (an image) to the mind: she had forgotten how to conjure up the image of her mother’s face
More example sentences
  • This is just a figment of the imagination of weak minds that conjure up images to provide solace when they cannot handle reality, she continued.
  • When his mind chose to conjure up images, it presented every possible situation he could ever hate.
  • Now mention a trip to Cyprus to a young footballer and immediately certain images are conjured in their minds.
bring to mind, call to mind, put one in mind of, call up, evoke, summon up, recall, recreate;
echo, allude to, suggest;
rouse (up), stir (up), raise up, awaken
1.3(Of a word, sound, smell, etc.) cause someone to think of (something): a special tune that conjures up a particular time and place
More example sentences
  • The very word conjures a mental menagerie of grotesque caricatures.
  • Most would agree that in the English-speaking world, this word conjures disgust and contempt.
  • Instead, the words conjure up unpleasant memories of mom's experimental eggplant lasagna and certain rubber-like meat substitutes.
2kənˈdʒʊəkənˈdʒɔː [with object and infinitive] archaic Implore (someone) to do something: she conjured him to return
More example sentences
  • By the ministry of a faithful eunuch she transmitted to him a ring, the pledge of her affection, and earnestly conjured him to claim her as a lawful spouse to whom he had been secretly betrothed.
  • She is conjured into being by Myrtle herself, by sympathetic magic, but once in the dramatic arena cannot be easily controlled or quelled; her spirit magic wreaks havoc.
  • The audience gets a first-person view of a victim in the throes of death, with a full-screen view of her fading face as she conjures the victim to ‘stay with me.’


a name to conjure with

Used to indicate that a particular person is very important or well regarded: on the merger scene his is a name to conjure with
More example sentences
  • I used to live there for four years and when I moved to Brighton last year couldn't bring myself to sever all ties with the place - not only has it a name to conjure with, but its a lovely area too.
  • No matter how many super-yachts tie up in its old port, or how many visitors swarm through its narrow streets and along its cafe-crowded quays, St Tropez is still a name to conjure with.
  • It had, of course, always been a name to conjure with.


Middle English (also in the sense 'oblige by oath'): from Old French conjurer 'to plot or exorcise', from Latin conjurare 'band together by an oath, conspire' (in medieval Latin 'invoke'), from con- 'together' + jurare 'swear'.

  • The earliest meanings of conjure were ‘to call on in the name of some divine or supernatural being’ and ‘to appeal solemnly to, entreat’—the -jure bit of the word is from Latin jurare ‘to swear’, which gave us words such as jury. A more familiar early meaning was ‘to call on a supernatural being to appear by means of a magic ritual’, from which the sense ‘to make something appear as if by magic’ developed. A name to conjure with comes from the idea of someone summoning the spirit of an influential or powerful person by saying their name out loud.

Words that rhyme with conjure

abjure, adjure, allure, amour, assure, Bahawalpur, boor, Borobudur, Cavour, coiffure, couture, cure, dastur, de nos jours, doublure, dour, embouchure, endure, ensure, enure, gravure, immature, immure, impure, inure, Jaipur, Koh-i-noor, Kultur, liqueur, lure, manure, moor, Moore, Muir, mure, Nagpur, Namur, obscure, parkour, photogravure, plat du jour, Pompadour, procure, pure, rotogravure, Ruhr, Saussure, secure, simon-pure, spoor, Stour, sure, tour, Tours, velour, Yom Kippur, you're blunger, expunger, plunger, sponger

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|jure

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.