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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.
  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; to recall.
    • Spenser
      The faint sprite he did revoke again, / To her frail mansion of morality.
  4. (obsolete) To hold back; to repress; to restrain.
    • Spenser
      [She] still strove their sudden rages to revoke.
  5. (obsolete) To draw back; to withdraw.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  6. (obsolete) To call back to mind; to recollect.
    • South
      A man, by revoking and recollecting within himself former passages, will be still apt to inculcate these sad memories to his conscience.

Related termsEdit



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.