Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

invoke - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] formal invoke pronunciation in British English /ɪnˈvəʊk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleinvoking
past tenseinvoked
past participleinvoked
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to use a law or rule in order to achieve something
    In extreme situations, the police chief may invoke emergency powers.
    1. a.
      to mention a law, principle, or idea in order to support an argument or to explain an action
      They invoked principles of international law to claim ownership of the sunken ship.
  2. 2
    to make someone feel a particular emotion or see a particular image in their minds
    Popular art invoked the image of a happy and contented family.
    The situation was invoking fears of another Vietnam-type entanglement.


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog