"to call or summon forth or out," 1620s, from French évoquer or directly from Latin evocare "call out, rouse, summon," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + vocare "to call," which is related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Often more or less with a sense of "calling spirits," or being called by them. Of feelings, memories, etc., by 1856. Related: Evoked; evokes; evoking.
It forms all or part of: advocate; avocation; calliope; convocation; epic; equivocal; equivocation; evoke; invoke; provoke; revoke; univocal; vocabulary; vocal; vocation; vocative; vociferate; vociferous; voice; vouch; vox; vowel.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vakti "speaks, says," vacas- "word;" Avestan vac- "speak, say;" Greek eipon (aorist) "spoke, said," epos "word;" Latin vocare "to call," vox "voice, sound, utterance, language, word;" Old Prussian wackis "cry;" German er-wähnen "to mention."
mid-15c., ostentacioun, "ambitious display, pretentious show, display intended to evoke admiration or attract attention," from Old French ostentacion (mid-14c.) and directly from Latin ostentationem (nominative ostentatio) "showing, exhibition, vain display," noun of action from past-participle stem of ostentare "to display," frequentative of ostendere "to show" (see ostensible).
1610s, "pertaining to play or sport" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin ludicrus "sportive" (source of Old French ludicre), from ludicrum "amusement, game, toy, source of amusement, joke," from ludere "to play."
This verb, along with Latin ludus "a game, play," is from the PIE root *leid- or *loid- "to play," perhaps literally "to let go frequently" [de Vaan], which is the source also of Middle Irish laidid "impels;" Greek lindesthai "to contend," lizei "plays;" Albanian lind "gives birth," lindet "is born;" Old Lithuanian leidmi "I let," Lithuanian leisti "to let," laidyti "to throw," Latvian laist "let, publish, set in motion."
Sense of "ridiculous, apt to evoke ridicule or jest" is attested from 1782. Related: Ludicrously; ludicrousness.
"inducing erotic sensation or sexual desire," 1889, from Greek eros "sexual love" (see Eros) + -genous "producing." A slightly earlier variant was erogenic (1887), from French érogénique. Both, as OED laments, are improperly formed. Erogenous zone attested by 1905.
In this connection reference may be made to the well-known fact that in some hysterical subjects there are so-called "erogenous zones" simple pressure on which suffices to evoke the complete orgasm. There is, perhaps, some significance, from our present point of view, in the fact that, as emphasized by Savill ("Hysterical Skin Symptoms," Lancet, January 30 1904) the skin is one of the very best places to study hysteria. [Havelock Ellis, "Studies in the Psychology of Sex," 1914]