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See also: invectivé




From Middle French invective, from Medieval Latin invectiva (abusive speech), from Latin invectīvus, from invectus, perfect passive participle of invehō (bring in), from in + vehō (carry). See vehicle, and compare with inveigh.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈvɛktɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪv
  • Rhymes: -ɛktɪv


invective (countable and uncountable, plural invectives)

  1. An expression which inveighs or rails against a person.
  2. A severe or violent censure or reproach.
  3. Something spoken or written, intended to cast shame, disgrace, censure, or reproach on another.
    • 2013 September 14, Jane Shilling, “The Golden Thread: the Story of Writing, by Ewan Clayton, review [print edition: Illuminating language]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1], page R28:
      [A] savage passage of 14th-century invective about the text-obsessed nerdiness of the Florentine bibliophile and friend of Petrarch, Niccolò Niccoli ...
  4. A harsh or reproachful accusation.
    Politics can raise invective to a low art.



invective (comparative more invective, superlative most invective)

  1. Characterized by invection or railing.
    Tom's speeches became diatribes — each more invective than the last.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for invective in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)