invasive

adjective
in·​va·​sive | \ in-ˈvā-siv How to pronounce invasive (audio) , -ziv\

Definition of invasive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : tending to spread especially in a quick or aggressive manner: such as
a of a nonnative organism : growing and dispersing easily usually to the detriment of native species and ecosystems It will be the second Australian insect released to thwart melaleuca, one of many exponentially spreading invasive plants that out-compete native Florida species, monopolizing wetlands and natural areas.— Neil Santaniello Scientists say more than 150 invasive species have entered the Great Lakes, multiplying rapidly and feeding on native species or outcompeting with them for food.— Sophia Taren
b(1) of cancer cells : tending to infiltrate surrounding healthy tissue … this procedure preserves the architecture of the tissue sample, which is vital for determining whether tumor cells are invasive.— Andrew A. Skolnick
(2) of a pathogenic microorganism or disease : disseminating from a localized area throughout the body sepsis association with invasive bacteria invasive streptococcal infection
2 : involving entry into the living body (as by incision or by insertion of an instrument) invasive diagnostic techniques
3 : of, relating to, or characterized by military aggression
4 : tending to infringe

invasive

noun

Definition of invasive (Entry 2 of 2)

: an organism that is not native to the place where found and tends to grow and spread easily usually to the detriment of native species and ecosystems Zebra mussels are the latest in a series of aquatic invasives to threaten Texas' inland waters.— Shannon Tompkins

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Other Words from invasive

Adjective

invasiveness noun

Examples of invasive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

McCloskey described the plants in his statement as an invasive perennial species. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Fair Oaks Farms under investigation for alleged animal abuse after activists release graphic video," 5 June 2019 But invasive species have laid siege to its unique biodiversity, the worst of them the black rats that first scurried ashore in 1918 after the steamship SS Makambo grounded on the reef. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Mass rodent poisoning on this remote Australian island could bring back giant stick insect," 5 June 2019 In Yao’s second piece, The impossibility of being outside, fireweed—an invasive flowering plant—is allowed to proliferate. Marley Marius, Vogue, "At the Honolulu Biennial, Artist Amy Yao Examines Environments and Identity (With the Help of Some Algae)," 12 Mar. 2019 Organizations such as the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management can’t find enough scientists to deal with invasive plants, wildfire reforestation and basic land-management issues. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Rhododendron? Hydrangea? America Doesn’t Know Anymore," 14 Aug. 2018 EcoAction Day First Saturday of the month: Volunteers clean up trash, plant native plants and remove non-native invasive plants. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Davie area events July 18-28," 14 July 2018 In June, officials warned outdoorsy types about coming into contact with giant hogweed, an invasive plant that can lead to third-degree burns and blindness. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "Giant Hogweed Sent This Virginia Teen to the Hospital. Here's What to Know About the Scary Plant That Can Burn Your Skin and Lead to Blindness," 13 July 2018 Hogweed’s story is like that of most of America’s other invasive plants; an escape from a garden into the wild, where its prolific seeding bullies out endemic species. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns," 3 July 2018 Planting at least half our landscape with natives would help compensate for our natural areas lost to development and invasive plants. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: This Fourth of July, think about choosing a native plant," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invasive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of invasive

Adjective

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

1990, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for invasive

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invasive

The first known use of invasive was in 1598

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More Definitions for invasive

invasive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of invasive

: tending to spread
medical : involving entry into the body by cutting or by inserting an instrument

invasive

adjective
in·​va·​sive | \ -siv, -ziv How to pronounce invasive (audio) \

Medical Definition of invasive

1 : tending to spread especially : tending to invade healthy tissue invasive cancer cells
2 : involving entry into the living body (as by incision or by insertion of an instrument) invasive diagnostic techniques

Other Words from invasive

invasiveness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on invasive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with invasive

Spanish Central: Translation of invasive

Nglish: Translation of invasive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invasive for Arabic Speakers

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