American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To call on (a higher power) for assistance, support, or inspiration: "Stretching out her hands she had the air of a Greek woman who invoked a deity” ( Ford Madox Ford).
- v. To appeal to or cite in support or justification.
- v. To call for earnestly; solicit: invoked the help of a passing motorist.
- v. To summon with incantations; conjure.
- v. To resort to; use or apply: "Shamelessly, he invokes coincidence to achieve ironic effect” ( Newsweek).
- v. Computer Science To activate or start (a program, for example).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To address in supplication; call on for protection or aid: as, to invoke the Supreme Being; to invoke the Muses.
- To call for with earnest desire; make supplication or prayer for: as, to invoke God's mercy.
- In law, to call for judicially: as, to invoke depositions or evidence. Synonyms and To implore, supplicate, adjure, solicit, beseech.
- v. transitive To call upon (a person, especially a god) for help, assistance or guidance.
- v. transitive To appeal for validation to a (notably cited) authority.
- v. transitive To conjure up with incantations.
- v. transitive To bring about as an inevitable consequence.
- v. transitive To solicit, petition for, appeal to a favorable attitude.
- v. transitive, computing To cause (a program or subroutine) to execute.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To call on for aid or protection; to invite earnestly or solemnly; to summon; to address in prayer; to solicit or demand by invocation; to implore.
- v. request earnestly (something from somebody); ask for aid or protection
- v. summon into action or bring into existence, often as if by magic
- v. cite as an authority; resort to
- From Middle English invoken, from Middle French invoquer (=modern French), from Latin invocare ("to call upon"), itself from in- + vocare 'to call' (Wiktionary)
- Middle English envoken, from Old French invoquer, from Latin invocāre : in-, in; + vocāre, to call. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The last thing I want to invoke is some crazy geek box office battle here.”
“We are experiencing writing, which, through the psychological processes Carnap and Dewey invoke, is "transformed" into a world of characters and their stories.”
“Across the country, small-town leaders who don't know any other words in English invoke those three letters dozens of times a day in conversation.”
“Not only does that title invoke Tyra Banks, Beyonce is starting to look like Tyra ...”
“Now, the easy answer, and the one that the demagogues of the left quickly invoke, is that’s because all the “excess” goes to the “rich.””
“I also see Shayn (and doesn't that name invoke a Western?) as a kind of Lone Ranger.”
“And she was an outsider: her home, Baton Rouge, was about eighty miles away, but an immeasurable distance in “culture” (to invoke a word she and others used with more regularity than specificity).”
“To apply attributes to individual actors because of their membership in an ethnic group or nation, denying their individual choices or self-definition, is something I now prickle at when coming from my own country as well, as toy recalls invoke the dangers of "The Chinese", as opposed to the dangers of long supply chains and merciless price competition.”
“One may wonder why this ginger species is called greenii when its colors and common name invoke the color red.”
“When I told people I was down the street from Oprah that was enough when you invoke her name you invoke a magic," Pinkney said.”
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