See more synonyms for invasive on
  1. characterized by or involving invasion; offensive: invasive war.
  2. invading, or tending to invade; intrusive.
  3. Medicine/Medical. requiring the entry of a needle, catheter, or other instrument into a part of the body, especially in a diagnostic procedure, as a biopsy.

Origin of invasive

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Medieval Latin word invāsīvus. See invasion, -ive
Related formsun·in·va·sive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for invasive

Contemporary Examples of invasive

Historical Examples of invasive

British Dictionary definitions for invasive


  1. of or relating to an invasion, intrusion, etc
  2. relating to or denoting cancer at the stage at which it has spread from its site of origin to other tissues
  3. (of surgery) involving making a relatively large incision in the body to gain access to the target of the surgery, as opposed to making a small incision or gaining access endoscopically through a natural orifice
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for invasive

mid-15c., from Middle French invasif (15c.), from Medieval Latin invasivus, from invas-, past participle stem of invadere (see invasion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

invasive in Medicine


  1. Marked by the tendency to spread, especially into healthy tissue, as a tumor.
  2. Of or relating to a medical procedure in which a part of the body is entered, as by puncture or incision.
Related formsin•vasive•ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

invasive in Science


    1. Relating to a disease or condition that has a tendency to spread, especially a malignant cancer that spreads into healthy tissue.
    2. Relating to a medical procedure in which a part of the body is entered, as by puncture or incision.
  1. Not native to and tending to spread widely in a habitat or environment. Invasive species often have few natural predators or other biological controls in their new environment. Although not always considered harmful to an environment, invasive species can become agricultural or ecological pests and can displace native species from their habitats. Invasive species are often introduced to an environment unintentionally, as the zebra mussel was to the Great Lakes, but are sometimes introduced for a purpose, as kudzu was to the southern US, where it was originally planted to control erosion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.