Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Tending to rouse ill will, animosity, or resentment.
  • adjective Offensive and unfair.
  • adjective Archaic Envious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Envious; causing or arising from envy.
  • Enviable; desirable.
  • Prompted by or expressing or adapted to excite envious dislike or ill will; offensively or unfairly discriminating: as, invidious distinctions or comparisons.
  • Hence Hateful; odious; detestable.
  • Synonyms Invidious, Offensive. Invidious, having lost its subjective sense of envious, now means producing or likely to produce ill feeling because bringing persons or their belongings into contrast with others in an unjust or mortifying way: as, an invidious comparison or distinction. The ill feeling thus produced would be not envy, but resentment, on account of wounded pride. Offensive is a general word, covering invidious and all other words characterizing that which gives offense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Envious; malignant.
  • adjective obsolete Worthy of envy; desirable; enviable.
  • adjective Likely to or intended to incur or produce ill will, or to provoke envy or resentment; hateful; offensive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective offensively or unfairly discriminating
  • adjective causing ill will towards the actor; causing offense.
  • adjective of a thing causing envy or ill will towards the possessor
  • adjective envious, jealous
  • adjective obsolete Hateful; odious; detestable

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective containing or implying a slight or showing prejudice

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin invidiōsus, envious, hostile, from invidia, envy; see envy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin invidiōsus, from invidia ("envy, ill will"), from in- ("upon") + videō ("I see").

Examples

  • And what you call invidious ghettos were great defences, they were havens, oases of peace and respect.

    Is religion a force for good... or would we be happier without God?

  • I do think the propensity of Americans to engage in invidious discrimination really has diminished, and diminished to the point of where much of the 1964 Act is unnecessary.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » So a Libertarian and a Liberal Walk into a Bar

  • I do think the propensity of Americans to engage in invidious discrimination really has diminished, and diminished to the point of where much of the 1964 Act is unnecessary.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » So a Libertarian and a Liberal Walk into a Bar

  • Clearly Dewey believed that political and economic conditions im modern societies encouraged an "alienation" from the aesthetic qualities of an "act of production," and to that extent Dewey's insistence that distinctions between fine and useful art are invidious is a politically-implicated gesture.

    John Dewey's *Art as Experience*

  • Yet again invidious comparisons are made with our continental neighbours whose milk consumption, in part because of very different climatic conditions, is overwhelmingly of UHT milk.

    Archive 2007-10-14

  • Yet again invidious comparisons are made with our continental neighbours whose milk consumption, in part because of very different climatic conditions, is overwhelmingly of UHT milk.

    News from the Ministry for Daft Ideas

  • Alternatively, Congress should have more leeway to fashion remedies because the states are more likely to be engaging in invidious discrimination where laws or practices touching upon suspect classifications are concerned.

    Balkinization

  • Alternatively, Congress should have more leeway to fashion remedies because the states are more likely to be engaging in invidious discrimination where laws or practices touching upon suspect classifications are concerned.

    Balkinization

  • This paper had been particularly disagreeable concerning the “dividend-cooking” system of certain of the Comstock mines, at the same time calling invidious attention to safer investments in California stocks.

    Mark Twain: A Biography

  • This paper had been particularly disagreeable concerning the "dividend-cooking" system of certain of the Comstock mines, at the same time calling invidious attention to safer investments in California stocks.

    Mark Twain, a Biography. Complete

Comments

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  • Because it reminds me of insidious, I am chary of using this word--fear of misspeaking.

    I need a word for "fear of misspeaking." Help me, Wordies!

    July 10, 2007

  • dyslogophobia? ;-)

    July 10, 2007

  • Malogophobia? ;->

    July 10, 2007

  • Okay, maybe maldyslogophobia. But I would be afraid to say it. ;-)

    July 10, 2007

  • Ooh, I like u's suggestion better.

    July 10, 2007

  • I agree, dyslogophobia is good. It sounds *real*.

    July 10, 2007

  • It also carries the connotation of dyslexic speech. ;-)

    July 10, 2007

  • malaprophobia?

    July 10, 2007

  • Woah, how do you pronounce that? I'm afraid of saying it wrong. ;-)

    July 10, 2007

  • Sounds like that old joke that asks why the word "lisp" has an "s" in it. ;-)

    July 10, 2007