the act of invoking or calling upon a deity, spirit, etc., for aid, protection, inspiration, or the like; supplication.
any petitioning or supplication for help or aid.
a form of prayer invoking God's presence, especially one said at the beginning of a religious service or public ceremony.
an entreaty for aid and guidance from a Muse, deity, etc., at the beginning of an epic or epiclike poem.
the act of calling upon a spirit by incantation.
the magic formula used to conjure up a spirit; incantation.
the act of calling upon or referring to something, as a concept or document, for support and justification in a particular circumstance.
the enforcing or use of a legal or moral precept or right.

1325–75; Middle English invocacio(u)n < Latin invocātiōn- (stem of invocātiō). See invocate, -ion

invocatory [in-vok-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , adjective
preinvocation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To invocation
World English Dictionary
invocation (ˌɪnvəˈkeɪʃən)
1.  the act of invoking or calling upon some agent for assistance
2.  a prayer asking God for help, forgiveness, etc, esp as part of a religious service
3.  an appeal for inspiration and guidance from a Muse or deity at the beginning of a poem
4.  a.  the act of summoning a spirit or demon from another world by ritual incantation or magic
 b.  the incantation used in this act

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. invocation (12c.), from L. invocationem, noun of action from invocare (see invoke).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


a convention of classical literature and of epics in particular, in which an appeal for aid (especially for inspiration) is made to a muse or deity, usually at or near the beginning of the work. Homer's Odyssey, for instance, beginsTell me, Muse, of the man of many ways, who was drivenfar journeys, after he had sacked Troy's sacred citadel.Many were they whose cities he saw, whose minds he learned of,many the pains he suffered in his spirit on the wide sea,struggling for his own life and the homecoming of his companions

Learn more about invocation with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Formerly there were many churches in that city dedicated under the invocation
  of these two holy martyrs.
Genevieve persuaded the people to build a chapel under his invocation on the
  spot where the abbey was afterwards founded.
By the following years, when such words were all too accurate, they had been
  somewhat debased by premature invocation.
At the time, various people were horrified at the casual invocation of this
  kind of violent rhetoric.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature