Latin Love, Vol I: vocare

The word "vocabulary" itself grows out of this root. Learn these words derived from the Latin root "vocare" (meaning "to name or call").
More Latin Love, Volume I lists:
portare, sci, struere, and via!
ELA Common Core State Standard: "Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word."

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. evoke
    call forth, as an emotion, feeling, or response
    "Were trying to tell an adventure story that evokes childhood memories," she explains.
    To "evoke" is to "call out" or bring forth a memory or feeling. Words have connotations that may evoke certain positive or negative feelings. You can have an evocative experience when you revisit a place that was familiar to you as a child.
  2. provoke
    annoy continually or chronically
    They have damaged streets and insulted the police - provoking them into using tear gas.
    The word "provoke" has a negative connotation, suggesting violence or retaliation in response to continued harassment. You know better than to tease or bother a dog, for example, because even the friendliest dogs can be provoked into harming you if you frighten or annoy them. Few dogs will attack without provocation.
  3. revoke
    cancel officially
    He faces a hearing April 19 where his license could be permanently revoked.Salon (Mar 29, 2013)
    With the prefix "re-" meaning "back" and the root "vok-" meaning "to call," we can see how the word "revoke" is used when a licence, certificate, passport, or privilege is revoked. Words that we say or write to others, however, are irrevocable: We can say we're sorry for having said them, but we can't truly take them back.
  4. advocate
    push for something
    He says he advocated therapy and prevention, not harsh punishments.
    With the prefix "ad-" meaning "toward" or "forward" and the root "voc-" meaning "to call," we can understand how an advocate (noun) is someone who advocates (verb) for a person or cause by speaking in its favor.
  5. invoke
    request earnestly; ask for aid or protection
    He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the House committee hearings.
    Another word for "prayer" is "invocation," the "calling in" of God, usually in honor of a serious occasion. Under the United States Constitution, as seen in the example sentence, defendants are said to "invoke their Fifth Amendment rights" to protect them against having to testify against themselves in court.
  6. equivocate
    be deliberately ambiguous or unclear
    “That is an unfair question,” he equivocated, narrowing his eyes whimsically.Seltzer, Charles Alden
    With "equi-" meaning "same" and "voc-" meaning "to call," the word "equivocate" is used to refer to statements that manage to be both true and untrue at the same time. People equivocate when their purpose is to deceive but not be guilty of actual lying. Equivocating is, simply, a clever form of lying by knowing how to twist words.
  7. unequivocal
    clearly defined or formulated
    Scientists have been loath to answer such questions in unequivocal terms.Slate (Dec 7, 2012)
    To give a clear yes or no is to be "unequivocal." With "un-" meaning "not," "equi-" meaning "same," and "voc-" meaning "to call," we can see how this word is put together. When we ask a direct question, we want an unequivocal, not an equivocal, answer.
  8. vociferous
    conspicuously and offensively loud
    Their cry increased in volume, vociferous, echoing in the trees.Ramsay, R.
    With "voc-" meaning "to call" and "fer-" meaning "to carry," we can see how this word is put together. At a football, basketball, soccer, or baseball game, fans are expected to be vociferous, but at a golf or tennis competition, fans are expected to be quiet. Although an opera singer has a loud voice, she would not be called vociferous on stage (but divas are known to be vociferous in their demands off stage).
  9. convocation
    a group gathered in response to a summons
    Opening convocation will be rescheduled and all campus events have been canceled through Monday.Washington Post (Aug 25, 2011)
    With "con-" meaning "together" and "voc-" meaning "to call," we can see how this word is put together. A convocation is similar to a congregation, but a bit more official and formal.
  10. vocation
    the particular occupation for which you are trained
    He found his real vocation in middle life.Various
    Certain professions are often said to be "vocations," or "callings" because of the strong feelings that people have about choosing them. For example, priests and nuns often refer to having a "vocation" to enter lives of religious service.
  11. avocation
    an auxiliary activity
    She took up even the most thoroughly feminine avocations, and learned to sew, and knit, and cook.Adams, W. H. Davenport
    An avocation is a hobby, an enjoyable activity that you do for the joy of it. With the prefix "a-" meaning, in this case, "away form" and "voc-" meaning "to call," it is interesting to note that your avocation, your hobby, calls you away from your daily obligations.

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