[in-vid-ee-uh s]


calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful: invidious remarks.
offensively or unfairly discriminating; injurious: invidious comparisons.
causing or tending to cause animosity, resentment, or envy: an invidious honor.
Obsolete. envious.

Origin of invidious

1600–10; < Latin invidiōsus envious, envied, hateful, equivalent to invidi(a) envy + -ōsus -ous
Related formsin·vid·i·ous·ly, adverbin·vid·i·ous·ness, nounnon·in·vid·i·ous, adjectivenon·in·vid·i·ous·ly, adverbnon·in·vid·i·ous·ness, nounun·in·vid·i·ous, adjectiveun·in·vid·i·ous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedinsidious invidious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for invidious

Contemporary Examples of invidious

  • Tevi Troy eschews any invidious mention of right-of-center think tanks in his critique.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What the Hell Just Happened at AEI?

    David Frum

    January 10, 2012

  • The drive toward nihilism is invidious, and it adds a substantial layer of risk to the financial world and markets.

    The Daily Beast logo
    More Mania in the Markets

    Zachary Karabell

    October 28, 2011

Historical Examples of invidious

  • I remonstrated, rather annoyed at the invidious position she was forcing on me in a sense.


    Joseph Conrad

  • This raises at once the just complaint that invidious distinctions are made.

    A Book for All Readers

    Ainsworth Rand Spofford

  • Several exceptions must be understood; but to select them would be invidious.

  • For surely no two men were ever left in a position so invidious and irritating.

  • And this was the only allusion that the young man was ever to hear her make to his invidious kinswoman.

    Daisy Miller

    Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for invidious



incurring or tending to arouse resentment, unpopularity, etcan invidious task
(of comparisons or distinctions) unfairly or offensively discriminating
obsolete grudging; envious
Derived Formsinvidiously, adverbinvidiousness, noun

Word Origin for invidious

C17: from Latin invidiōsus full of envy, from invidia envy
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 invidious

c.1600, from Latin invidiosus "full of envy, envious," from invidia "envy, grudge, jealousy, ill will" (see envy). Related: Invidiously; invidiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper