Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (transitive) To call upon (a person, especially a god) for help, assistance or guidance.
1869, John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women:
- After marriage, the man had anciently (but this was anterior to Christianity) the power of life and death over his wife. She could invoke no law against him; he was her sole tribunal and law.
1872, Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species:
- The acquisition of a useless part can hardly be said to raise an organism in the natural scale; and in the case of the imperfect, closed flowers, above described, if any new principle has to be invoked, it must be one of retrogression rather than of progression; and so it must be with many parasitic and degraded animals.
1912, William Sharp McKechnie, The New Democracy and the Constitution:
- It is easier to invoke or to deplore democracy than to say exactly what it is.
- (transitive) To appeal for validation to a (notably cited) authority.
- In certain Christian circles invoking the Bible constitutes irrefutable proof.
- (transitive) To conjure up with incantations.
- This satanist ritual invokes Beelzebub.
- (transitive) To bring about as an inevitable consequence.
- Blasphemy is taboo as it may invoke divine wrath.
- (transitive) To solicit, petition for, appeal to a favorable attitude.
- The envoy invoked the King of Kings's magnanimity to reduce his province's tribute after another draught.
- (transitive, computing) To cause (a program or subroutine) to execute.
- Interactive programs let the users enter choices and invoke the corresponding routines.
- C++ lets you invoke an operator function either by calling the function or by using the overloaded operator with its usual syntax. — Stephen Prata.
call upon someone for help etc.
conjure up by incantation
bring about as an inevitable consequence
solicit, petition for
(computing) cause to execute
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