Definition of conjure in English:


See synonyms for conjure

Translate conjure into Spanish


  • 1Call upon (a spirit or ghost) to appear, by means of a magic ritual.

    ‘they hoped to conjure up the spirit of their dead friend’
    • ‘Nowadays you might expect to hear of ‘animal spirits’ in shamanic ritual, conjuring the spirit of the bear.’
    • ‘As Osa dancers perform a stick dance meant to conjure up the spirits of their ancestors, organizers say the festive season is not a denouncement of Western Christian values.’
    • ‘Using 200-year-old legislation, he was convicted of pretending to conjure up spirits.’
    • ‘This was a false assumption; he was well-versed in the holy scriptures, and it was whispered that he had the ability to conjure up eidolons and spirits.’
    • ‘These don't conjure up demonic spirits do they?’
    • ‘The artists responsible for the works and for dimming lights, Stanikas, conjure up the ghosts of Lithuanian and Soviet past and of the difficult transition.’
    • ‘Just out of interest: is there anyone here who actually believes that if you used the proper method to conjure a Demon nothing would happen?’
    • ‘We can only conjure up the ghosts of the past through our fragmented memories.’
    • ‘We conjured a dead spirit into a pumpkin lantern and chatted to her via Ouija board.’
    • ‘Likewise, you have made the mistake of provoking us to use and conjure the spirits that we had held back until now.’
    • ‘But he does not conjure their ghosts simply to condemn them again; he has a new take.’
    • ‘She explains about her seven dead children and how she sent her daughter to conjure the spirits of the dead.’
    • ‘She actually conjures up the spirit of his first wife.’
    • ‘She conjures up the spirits of the dead, putting the truth in front of them.’
    • ‘Even better, you are free to walk those realms your way - battle against evil as a selfless knight or conjure up demons as an undead warlock.’
    • ‘Once again he flicked his hand up and four zombies were conjured up.’
    • ‘The acoustic guitar is the closest thing to a fetish object in music: put one in the right hands, and that person can conjure the dead.’
    • ‘The film is like a ceremony conjuring the dead, with the editing suite taking the place of the spiritualist's table.’
    1. 1.1with object Make (something) appear unexpectedly or seemingly from nowhere as if by magic.
      ‘Anne conjured up a most delicious homemade stew’
      • ‘Each face is conjured from eloquent pencil lines and blurs of paint against a virginal white swath of satin, hung vertically like an iconic banner.’
      • ‘Although I broke the law, a mountain was conjured up from a molehill.’
      • ‘And is Canada at risk of not getting any of the great new products being conjured up in the US labs?’
      • ‘Their turn, we are told, will undoubtedly come and they will be made to pay the price for whatever ills are conjured up against them.’
      • ‘He was a fabulous singer and songwriter who was equally adept at adapting blues classics or conjuring new standards, seemingly, with ease.’
      • ‘She has a strong physical presence, and her supporting cast of flaky models and dodgy men is conjured up with elegant economy.’
      • ‘From nowhere handy biotech gadgets are conjured to assist her in her mission - my favourite was the explosive ball bearings that come running when you whistle.’
      • ‘Remarkably, if they could conjure a win, they would then have managed to take more points off Celtic than the rest of the SPL clubs put together.’
      • ‘It's strange, given the amount of time the authors have spent around kids, that they haven't managed to conjure a memorable child character.’
      • ‘I was not convinced that this was what was going to happen, but I couldn't put my finger on precisely why; my instinct was that some mechanism would be conjured up to allow the government to continue to hold these people.’
      • ‘Somewhere at the back of every cook's mind, there's a handy little list of meals that can be conjured up out of nothing.’
      • ‘A country finds itself looking to him and expecting the World Cup to be conjured up, as if this single man could somehow prevail in the 15-man game.’
      • ‘The excuse - and make no mistake, this is what it is - that has been conjured up is that we have witnessed the death of ideology.’
      • ‘He's even conjured up a fluffy passion-fruit soufflé, which you can bomb with a ball of freshly made coconut sorbet.’
      • ‘Identify a demand in the market and satiate it by conjuring a team out of nothing.’
      • ‘But, of course, no one would have minded a bit if England had somehow conjured a couple of second-half goals to steal victory.’
      • ‘But at the same time, you're broke (the power bill and one too many glasses of sweet warming wine) and there is not a thing in the pantry that could be conjured into food.’
      • ‘The figure of £23 billion has not been conjured out of the blue.’
      • ‘Such relationships take time to build and can't be conjured out of thin air in the midst of a presidential campaign.’
      • ‘Such projects are a reminder that cyber islands and ‘e-strategies’ aren't conjured out of thin air.’
      make something appear, produce, materialize, magic, summon, generate
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    2. 1.2Call (an image) to the mind.
      ‘she had forgotten how to conjure up the image of her mother's face’
      • ‘This is just a figment of the imagination of weak minds that conjure up images to provide solace when they cannot handle reality, she continued.’
      • ‘When his mind chose to conjure up images, it presented every possible situation he could ever hate.’
      • ‘Now mention a trip to Cyprus to a young footballer and immediately certain images are conjured in their minds.’
      • ‘‘I conjure up the image in my mind and translate it on to the canvas, improving it until I am satisfied,’ he says.’
      • ‘Its glossy pages and colourful pictures conjure up the image of a veritable paradise.’
      • ‘The mind conjures up images of wine police running amok, busting people for wine crimes - like drinking Sauvignon Blanc with beef tenderloin.’
      • ‘Think of North East, and the mind involuntarily conjures up images of lofty hills and sloping vales.’
      • ‘But, the mind can conjure up some really serious images.’
      • ‘The restaurant had worked hard to conjure up vivid images of Thailand in every detail from the artwork and carvings adorning the green and maroon walls to the incense wafting through the air.’
      • ‘When asked to explain what this means, the students conjure up images of older kids hassling younger ones.’
      • ‘With her entire heart, with her innocent soul, her mind conjured images of surf, sand and beach.’
      • ‘Using cracked linen as a surface, she painted motifs that conjure up images of Italian frescoes and simulate the effects of time and weather.’
      • ‘However, her pictures are not about the romantic images that these conjure up, but focus on the world they transport the viewer too.’
      • ‘In my literalistic mind, this question conjures up the image of a mime wrestling to carry two enormous, invisible burdens, each one by itself almost too large to grip securely.’
      • ‘Those of a delicate conscience may be offended by the movie, but the images it conjures in the mind are more disturbing than those depicted on screen.’
      • ‘While you mind conjures up more images of your future without him, your gaze shifts from one magazine on the rack to another.’
      • ‘Many cities today already have a ‘brand’ in the sense that they conjure up an image in the consumer's mind.’
      • ‘When you think of Spain's Costas, chances are you conjure up images of lager louts swilling pints of beer, greasy spoon restaurants and unfinished high-rise hotels that block out the sun stretching as far as the eye can see.’
      • ‘While for some, video games conjure up the image of the socially withdrawn and uncommunicative male, the milieu of video games is intensely social.’
      • ‘He conjured her face before his eyes, and smiled wistfully.’
      bring to mind, call to mind, put one in mind of, call up, evoke, summon up, recall, recreate
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    3. 1.3(of a word, sound, smell, etc.) cause someone to feel or think of (something)
      ‘one scent can conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake’
      • ‘The very word conjures a mental menagerie of grotesque caricatures.’
      • ‘Most would agree that in the English-speaking world, this word conjures disgust and contempt.’
      • ‘Instead, the words conjure up unpleasant memories of mom's experimental eggplant lasagna and certain rubber-like meat substitutes.’
      • ‘The word will conjure up memories of previous occasions where the player has been aggressive and successfully overcome a challenge.’
      • ‘The very term conjures a closed chapter - if a heroic one - in the history of art.’
      • ‘The mournful undertones of this track conjure a sense of loss, perhaps for ancestors, perhaps for all passing.’
      • ‘For many of us, it's as plain as the nose on our faces - different smells conjure up specific memories.’
      • ‘To Britons of the right age, those three words conjure up all sorts of semi-nostalgic memories.’
      • ‘One of his strategies is to test whether a word can conjure up a complex idea.’
      • ‘In terms of womanhood, the words conjure up something, well, unflatteringly female.’
      • ‘My impression of the word conjures an aesthetic impression, revealing both depth and simplicity, something that is pleasing and accessible, rewarding deeper investigation.’
      • ‘The first track opens with a sound that resonates throughout the album, a sound that conjures feelings of grandeur and regalia in one breath, but falls away whimsically and abashed in the next.’
      • ‘This very word would seem to conjure up a sense of community, of shared experience.’
      • ‘To me, that word conjures up incredible artistry, and is not something one would find at your neighborhood mall or boutique.’
      • ‘Although I suppose this was working with Ancestors, for me the word conjures up something that is much older.’
      • ‘In modern parlance this word quickly conjures up notions of government regulation and regulated industries.’
      • ‘She curled into a ball, shuddering as her imagination began conjuring the torture methods that she had heard rumors of.’
      • ‘But what futuristic visions are conjured up by recent advances toward human genetic engineering?’
      • ‘A sense of fear and threat of the unknown are conjured up with a dexterous use of language and word play.’
      • ‘Hence I can't be objective about this extraordinary game, which appeared so magically, and allows me to conjure such fine memories.’
  • 2 archaic with object and infinitive Implore (someone) to do something.

    ‘she conjured him to return’
    • ‘By the ministry of a faithful eunuch she transmitted to him a ring, the pledge of her affection, and earnestly conjured him to claim her as a lawful spouse to whom he had been secretly betrothed.’
    • ‘She is conjured into being by Myrtle herself, by sympathetic magic, but once in the dramatic arena cannot be easily controlled or quelled; her spirit magic wreaks havoc.’
    • ‘The audience gets a first-person view of a victim in the throes of death, with a full-screen view of her fading face as she conjures the victim to ‘stay with me.’’




    a name to conjure with
    • The name of an important person within a particular sphere of activity.

      ‘on the merger scene his is a name to conjure with’
      • ‘I used to live there for four years and when I moved to Brighton last year couldn't bring myself to sever all ties with the place - not only has it a name to conjure with, but its a lovely area too.’
      • ‘No matter how many super-yachts tie up in its old port, or how many visitors swarm through its narrow streets and along its cafe-crowded quays, St Tropez is still a name to conjure with.’
      • ‘It had, of course, always been a name to conjure with.’
      • ‘In some ways, the most interesting story is that of the leader, Muntz, not a name to conjure with but an intriguing player all the same.’
      • ‘Other writers on the centre left say that it is no longer a name to conjure with when trying to persuade their readers of anything at all.’
      • ‘However, this is what made it a name to conjure with, as far as young Japanese are concerned.’
      • ‘The Plantagenets wanted him christened Henry after his grandfather, but Constance named him Arthur for the legendary King Arthur, a name to conjure with among the Bretons.’
      • ‘It is hardly a name to conjure with here.’
      • ‘Even in death her name was a name to conjure with.’
      • ‘If his name is no longer a name to conjure with among students and practitioners of war, it is in part because his point of view has been so widely adopted, even by those unaware of his work.’


Middle English (also in the sense ‘oblige by oath’): from Old French conjurer ‘to plot or exorcise’, from Latin conjurare ‘band together by an oath, conspire’ (in medieval Latin ‘invoke’), from con- ‘together’ + jurare ‘swear’.