The term “invocation” comes from the Latin word “invocatio,” which means “a calling upon” or “a summoning.” This is derived from the Latin root “invocare,” meaning “to call upon” or “to invoke,” which itself comes from “in-” meaning “upon” and “vocare,” meaning “to call.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*wekw-” means “to speak” or “to call.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “vocare” developed, meaning “to call.” The verb “invocare” combines “in-” (upon) and “vocare” (to call), meaning “to call upon” or “to invoke.” The noun “invocatio” is derived from “invocare,” meaning “a calling upon” or “a summoning.”

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “invocatio” evolved into Old French “invocacion,” meaning “a calling upon” or “an appeal.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “invocacion” was adopted into Middle English as “invocacioun,” meaning “a calling upon” or “a plea for assistance.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “invocation” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, retaining the meaning of “the act of invoking or calling upon a deity, spirit, or higher power for assistance, guidance, or protection.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “invocation” has remained relatively stable, transitioning from Old French “invocacion” to Modern English “invocation.”

Usage Examples

  • “The ceremony began with an invocation to the deities.”
  • “Another example of ‘invocation’ in a sentence is ‘He gave an invocation for peace and unity at the community gathering.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “invocation” was significantly influenced by its use in religious and spiritual contexts, where invoking a deity or higher power for assistance, guidance, or protection is a common practice. Invocations are often part of rituals, ceremonies, and prayers.

The word “invocation” reflects the importance of seeking divine or spiritual assistance and the role of such practices in expressing reverence, hope, and a desire for guidance or protection.