Simple Definition of invidious
: unpleasant and likely to cause bad feelings in other people
Full Definition of invidious
Examples of invidious in a sentence
The boss made invidious distinctions between employees.
<inevitably, his remarkable success attracted the invidious attention of the other sales representatives>
Did You Know?
Fittingly, "invidious" is a relative of "envy." Both are descendants of "invidia," the Latin word for "envy," which in turn comes from invidēre, meaning "to look askance at or "to envy." ("Invidious" descends from "invidia" by way of the Latin adjective invidiosus, meaning "envious, whereas "envy" comes to English via the Anglo-French noun envie.) These days, however, "invidious" is rarely used as a synonym for "envious." The preferred uses are primarily pejorative, describing things that are unpleasant (such as "invidious choices" and "invidious tasks") or worthy of scorn ("invidious remarks" or "invidious comparisons").
Origin of invidious
Latin invidiosus envious, invidious, from invidia envy — more at envy
First Known Use: 1606
Legal Definition of invidious
: of, relating to, or being discrimination that arises from the creation of a classification that is arbitrary, irrational, or capricious and not related to a legitimate purpose
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up invidious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).