Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of invoking, especially an appeal to a higher power for assistance.
  • noun A prayer or other formula used in invoking, as at the opening of a religious service.
  • noun The act of conjuring up a spirit by incantation.
  • noun An incantation used in conjuring.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of invoking or calling in prayer; the form or act of summoning or inviting presence or aid: as, invocation of the Muses.
  • noun In law, a judicial call, demand, or order: as, the invocation of papers or evidence into a court.
  • noun Eccles.: An invoking of the blessing of God upon any undertaking; especially, an opening prayer in a public service invoking divine blessing upon it; specifically, the words “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen,” “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen,” used at the beginning of the Roman mass, before sermons in many Anglican churches, and on other occasions.
  • noun The third part of the prayer of consecration in the communion office of the American Book of Common Prayer, in the Scottish office of 1764 (from which that prayer is derived), and in the Nonjurors' office of 1718, on which, as well as on earlier Scottish and English offices and ancient Oriental liturgies, the Scottish office of 1764 is based.
  • noun In the Roman Catholic and Anglican litanies, one of the petitions addressed to God in each person and in Trinity, and to the saints.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act or form of calling for the assistance or presence of some superior being; earnest and solemn entreaty; esp., prayer offered to a divine being.
  • noun (Law) A call or summons; especially, a judicial call, demand, or order.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act or form of calling for the assistance or presence of some superior being; earnest and solemn entreaty; esp., prayer offered to a divine being.
  • noun A call or summons; especially, a judicial call, demand, or order; as, the invocation of papers or evidence into court.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun calling up a spirit or devil
  • noun the act of appealing for help
  • noun a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
  • noun an incantation used in conjuring or summoning a devil

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English invocacion, from Old French, from Latin invocātiō, invocātiōn-, from invocātus, past participle of invocāre, to invoke; see invoke.]

Examples

Comments

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  • All serious operas need one of these.

    April 19, 2008

  • That, and an auto-da-fe.

    April 19, 2008

  • Does Bernstein's Candide have an invocation? I know it has an auto-da-fé, as in that great number:

    "What a day, what a day, for an auto-da-fé!"

    I can't think of any other operas. Unless you're talking of an act of faith of the non-flammable variety!

    April 19, 2008

  • Verdi's Don Carlos has an auto-da-fe to end the second act. Heretics burning right on stage. it's awesome!

    April 19, 2008

  • That's true, had forgotten. Then there's the conclusion of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites: less spectacular but creepier, with those thuds from the guillotine at intervals. Ugh.

    Incidentally, Dialogues… is one of the few operas that begins in one language (French) and ends in another (Latin).

    April 19, 2008