The words invoke and evoke are commonly misinterpreted because of their usage, i.e. both are used when someone or something has to be called up. However, there is a small but very important difference between these two verbs so they cannot be used as substitutes.
When we call upon a person or anyone else having higher power, we use the word invoke, but evoke is used to call something to mind. Now, let’s take a look at these examples to understand the difference between these two:
- The new policy invoked by the Central Government which evoked a situation of outrage and unrest throughout the nation.
- Ron has tried his best to invoke God, which also evoked a positive attitude in him.
In the first example, the word invoke is used in connection with enforcing, whereas evoke refers to stimulate. Further, in the second example, invoke is used to mean call upon or appeal to, while evoke means to develop, kindle or arouse.
Content: Invoke Vs Evoke
|Basis for Comparison||Invoke||Evoke|
|Meaning||Invoke refers to calling forth someone/something or putting into any law, rule or policy into effect.||Evoke means to call up something, especially memories, feelings or idea.|
|Outcome||Material and practical||Emotional and Intellectual|
|Examples:||Maria started meditation in order to invoke spiritualism.||The statement given by the politician evoked protests, throughout the country.|
|The central bank invoked a new policy to curb the increasing inflation of the country.||His performance evoked sadness in all the viewers.|
|It is extremely necessary to invoke new laws to stop rape crimes.||The song evokes a feeling of patriotism.|
Definition of Invoke
The word ‘invoke’ can be used in a number of contexts, depending on what the meaning of the sentence is supposed to be. Basically, invoke means to call on (deity or spirit) especially in prayer, so as to better a situation, or to appeal/resort to someone having higher power to ask for aid or protection.
Further, it also implies the use of law so as to get something or to introduce something, i.e. an idea, opinion or law in order to give an explanation or support the argument. Let’s take a look at the points given below to understand its usage:
- Use of law to attain something, or to support your action:
- The government invoked rules so as to start encroachment.
- The trade union invoked strike, because of non-acceptance of their conditions by the company’s management.
- Requesting aid from someone, usually God, in order to implore:
- Huge charity is given by the couple to invoke God.
- “What kind of worship invokes God?”, said Mohit to the Priest.
- Arousing a feeling in someone or making someone remember something special:
- The baby’s voice invokes the child in me.
- The painting invoked the image of a village woman.
Definition of Evoke
The word ‘evoke’ is a regular verb derived from a Latin term ‘evocare’, which means to bring forth, recollect or produce, a memory, feeling, idea or an image to the mind or to extract a response from a particular person.
- To make a person recall something:
- When I visited my hometown, the buildings, roads and people evoked memories from the past.
- The problem evoked a new idea, to resolve it.
- The result evoked disappointment in the students.
- To obtain a reaction or reply from someone:
- The movie evoked mixed reactions from critics.
- The actor’s comment on social media, evoked anger on social media.
- To cause to appear (spirit or ghost) by chanting:
- The group of friends evoked a spirit from the dead by means of magic ritual.
- To create a very strong impression of reality on the mind through imagination:
- The poetry succeeds to evoke the love between the duo.
Key Differences Between Invoke and Evoke
There is a slight difference between invoke and evoke, discussed in the points mentioned hereunder:
- The verb ‘invoke’ means to entreat someone, usually God, to ask for help, or to appeal to someone with higher power and authority, in support of an argument. It may also be used to put something into effect. On the other hand, the verb, evoke has something to do with the mind, i.e. it implies to recall something to mind, or to generate a response from a specific person, or to make something appear, i.e. spirit or diety.
- Invoke is used to highlight the cause, as it is active and direct. Conversely, evoke expresses the effect of an action, hence it is passive and indirect.
- The word invoke is used when the consequence of action is material and practical. As against, when the consequence is intellectual and emotional, we use the word ‘evoke’.
- Invoke is something that calls from external power, whereas evoke, is something that comes from within.
- The painting of your living room evoked the memories of my Grandmother.
- The reviews and applause evoked happiness among the performers.
- The beauty of the site evokes positivity in every visitor’s mind.
- The company invoked a new strategy in order to reach the target.
- The President has the power to invoke emergency, throughout the country, in extreme conditions.
- Alex is all set to invoke God’s mercy.
How to remember the difference
The main difference between these two verbs lies in the fact that invoke is used to call upon something or appeal to someone, with higher power for aid, whereas evoke means to stimulate or arouse something, or call up in mind.