9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-vohk] /ɪnˈvoʊk/
verb (used with object), invoked, invoking.
to call for with earnest desire; make supplication or pray for:
to invoke God's mercy.
to call on (a deity, Muse, etc.), as in prayer or supplication.
to declare to be binding or in effect:
to invoke the law; to invoke a veto.
to appeal to, as for confirmation.
to petition or call on for help or aid.
to call forth or upon (a spirit) by incantation.
to cause, call forth, or bring about.
Origin of invoke
1480-90; < Latin invocāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + vocāre to call, akin to vōx voice
Related forms
invocable, adjective
invoker, noun
reinvoke, verb (used with object), reinvoked, reinvoking.
uninvocable, adjective
uninvoked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for invoke
  • Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.
  • Unlike too many of those who in modern time invoke their authority, they had a choice between the two.
  • And once you invoke it, there's no way to quit out of it, short of rebooting your computer.
  • Electronic objects intended for superdistribution invoke this hardware, which provides instructions.
  • If you invoke the printing press and you don't seem totally out of your mind, you're swinging for the fences.
  • There is no need to invoke global welfare to argue against it.
  • If you want to invoke the second law, there are no exceptions to this part of the rule.
  • The first is to invoke, however implicitly, his own military service.
  • For the other times when you have to improvise, invoke rule three: situational awareness is invaluable.
  • Politicians and the media invoke the certainty of social instability should the number of foreigners rise.
British Dictionary definitions for invoke


verb (transitive)
to call upon (an agent, esp God or another deity) for help, inspiration, etc
to put (a law, penalty, etc) into use: the union invoked the dispute procedure
to appeal to (an outside agent or authority) for confirmation, corroboration, etc
to implore or beg (help, etc)
to summon (a spirit, demon, etc); conjure up
Derived Forms
invocable, adjective
invoker, noun
Usage note
Invoke is sometimes wrongly used where evoke is meant: this proposal evoked (not invoked) a strong reaction
Word Origin
C15: from Latin invocāre to call upon, appeal to, from vocāre to call
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 invoke

late 15c., from Middle French envoquer (12c.), from Latin invocare "call upon, implore," from in- "upon" (see in- (2)) + vocare "to call," related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (see voice (n.)). Related: Invoked; invoking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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