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[in-vi-tey-shuh n] /ˌɪn vɪˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of inviting.
the written or spoken form with which a person is invited.
something offered as a suggestion:
an invitation to consider a business merger.
attraction or incentive; allurement.
a provocation:
The speech was an invitation to rebellion.
Origin of invitation
1590-1600; < Latin invītātiōn- (stem of invītātiō), equivalent to invītāt(us) (past participle of invītāre to invite) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
preinvitation, noun
reinvitation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for invitation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I did not need a second invitation and we started toward town.

    Harbor Jim of Newfoundland Alden Eugene Bartlett
  • He had an invitation to the opposite coast which he thought he would accept.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • The merchants accepted the invitation, and went home with Eirik.

  • Handel declined the invitation, but resolved to go to Italy as soon as he could do so "on his own bottom."

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • If you wanted to come, why didn't you write me for an invitation?

    Hearts and Masks Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for invitation


  1. the act of inviting, such as an offer of entertainment or hospitality
  2. (as modifier): an invitation dance, an invitation race
the act of enticing or attracting; allurement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for invitation

mid-15c., from Latin invitationem (nominative invitatio) "an invitation, incitement, challenge," noun of action from past participle stem of invitare "invite, treat, entertain," originally "be pleasant toward," from in- "toward" (see in- (2)). Second element is obscure; Watkins suggests a suffixed form of root *weie- "to go after something, pursue with vigor," and a connection to English gain (see venison). Meaning "the spoken or written form in which a person is invited" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for invitation


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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