Definition of conjure in English:


Line breaks: con|jure
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;
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.
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.
2 /kənˈdʒʊə, kənˈdʒɔː/ [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.’


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'.


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.

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