Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 13:47

invoke

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English invoken, from Middle French invoquer (=modern French), from Latin invocare (to call upon), itself from in- + vocare 'to call'

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

invoke (third-person singular simple present invokes, present participle invoking, simple past and past participle invoked)

  1. (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.
  2. (transitive) To appeal for validation to a (notably cited) authority.
    In certain Christian circles invoking the Bible constitutes irrefutable proof.
  3. (transitive) To conjure up with incantations.
    This satanist ritual invokes Beelzebub.
  4. (transitive) To bring about as an inevitable consequence.
    Blasphemy is taboo as it may invoke divine wrath.
  5. (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.
  6. (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.

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TranslationsEdit

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