[ in-vek-tiv ]
/ ɪnˈvɛk tɪv /


vehement or violent denunciation, censure, or reproach.
a railing accusation; vituperation.
an insulting or abusive word or expression.


vituperative; denunciatory; censoriously abusive.

Origin of invective

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin invectīvus abusive, equivalent to Latin invect(us) (past participle of invehī to attack with words, inveigh) + -īvus -ive

Related forms

in·vec·tive·ly, adverbin·vec·tive·ness, nounun·in·vec·tive, adjective

Synonym study

1. See abuse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for invective

British Dictionary definitions for invective


/ (ɪnˈvɛktɪv) /


vehement accusation or denunciation, esp of a bitterly abusive or sarcastic kind


characterized by or using abusive language, bitter sarcasm, etc

Derived Forms

invectively, adverbinvectiveness, noun

Word Origin for invective

C15: from Late Latin invectīvus reproachful, scolding, from Latin invectus carried in; see inveigh
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