- (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.
- 1969, Philip Ziegler, The Black Death, Folio Society 2007, p. 21:
- He invoked cadaveric poisoning as the reason for the high death rate among priests and monks […]
- (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.
2011, Stephen Prata, C++ Primer Plus:
- C++ lets you invoke an operator function either by calling the function or by using the overloaded operator with its usual syntax.
- (to call upon): invocate (obsolete)
- (appeal for validation): cite, reference, appeal
- (bring about): bring about, incite
- (petition for): solicit, appeal, petition
- (computing, cause a program or subroutine to execute): call, execute, launch, run
call upon someone for help etc.
conjure up by incantation
bring about as an inevitable consequence
solicit, petition for
(computing) cause to execute
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.