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Borrowed from Middle French révoquer, from Latin revocare, from re- + voco, vocare. Doublet of revocate.



revoke (third-person singular simple present revokes, present participle revoking, simple past and past participle revoked)

  1. (transitive) To cancel or invalidate by withdrawing or reversing.
    Your driver's license will be revoked.
    I hereby revoke all former wills.
  2. (intransitive) To fail to follow suit in a game of cards when holding a card in that suit.
  3. (obsolete) To call or bring back.
    Synonym: recall
  4. (obsolete) To hold back.
    Synonyms: repress, restrain
  5. (obsolete) To move (something) back or away.
    Synonyms: draw back, withdraw
  6. (obsolete) To call back to mind.
    Synonyms: recollect, remember
    • late 1600s-early 1700s, Robert South, Sermon on Proverbs 18.14 in Sermons Preached on Several Occasions, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1823, p. 132,[2]
      A man, by revoking and recollecting within himself former passages, will be still apt to inculcate these sad memoirs to his conscience.

Related terms[edit]



revoke (plural revokes)

  1. The act of revoking in a game of cards.
    • 1923, William Henry Koebel, All Aboard: A Frivolous Book, page 102:
      Employ two revokes, two trumpings of your partner's best card and two ignorings of a call — all in the same hand!
  2. A renege; a violation of important rules regarding the play of tricks in trick-taking card games serious enough to render the round invalid.
  3. A violation ranked in seriousness somewhat below overt cheating, with the status of a more minor offense only because, when it happens, it is usually accidental.