a barrage of racist invective
hurled curses and invective at the driver who heedlessly cut them off in traffic
Recent Examples of invective from the Web
- And in tweets available for anyone to see, the man suspected of killing five at a Maryland newspaper this week broadcast his hate with a stream of invectives.
- Private Facebook groups have devolved into furious comment threads and invective.
- Fraud, cried his detractors, among them the illustrious Harvard professor Louis Agassiz, hardly a paragon of scientific rectitude, who littered his copy of the book with invectives.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invective.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.
Did You Know?
Invective originated in the 15th century as an adjective meaning "of, relating to, or characterized by insult or abuse." In the early 16th century, it appeared in print as a noun meaning "an example of abusive speech." Eventually, the noun developed a second sense applying to abusive language as a whole. Invective comes to us from the Middle French word invectif, which in turn derives from Latin invectivus, meaning "reproachful, abusive." (Invectivus comes from Latin invectus, past participle of the verb invehere, one form of which means "to assail with words.") Invective is similar to abuse, but it tends to suggest not only anger and vehemence but verbal and rhetorical skill. It sometimes implies public denunciation, as in "blistering political invective."
First Known Use of invective
in the meaning defined at sense 1