invasive

adjective
in·va·sive | \ in-ˈvā-siv , -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

Loss of nesting habitat, invasive species and climate change also play a role. Hannah Nordhaus, WSJ, "‘Buzz’ and ‘Our Native Bees’ Review: Give Bees a Chance," 12 July 2018 Grassland would likely need continual help pushing out invasive species, says Rebecca Swab, director of restoration ecology at a private Ohio conservation park called The Wilds. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "From Defiled to Wild—Can a Spent Coal Mine Be Reborn as a Nature Conservation Center?," 11 July 2018 But these discoveries, some 400 feet underwater in near freezing inky blackness, are now being threatened by an invasive species potentially more destructive than the ravages of time. CBS News, "Divers race to find Great Lakes shipwrecks threatened by invasive species," 10 July 2018 Non-divers visiting Curacao can still do their bit by chowing down on the invasive fish at such restaurants as Seaside Terrace in Willemstad, Sol Food in Westpunt, and Pirate Bay in Piscadera. Mark Rogers, USA TODAY, "Lionfish in the Caribbean: Destructive menace, delicious dinner," 3 July 2018 In 2011, biologists found the DNA of Asian carp in the canals around Chicago, suggesting that the invasive fish was poised to move into the Great Lakes. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Loch Ness Monster Hunters to Try DNA Search? Get the Facts.," 23 May 2018 As is widely known, the stars of the modern Lake Michigan trout and salmon fishery are species introduced to help manage the population of alewife, an invasive fish that overwhelmed the lake beginning in the 1950s. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Wisconsin's Lake Michigan harbors host world-class ice fishing for trout," 13 Jan. 2018 With the presence of the giant hogweed plant in Virginia, officials asked anyone who spotted one of these plants to file an invasive species report. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "A Virginia Teen Suffered Third Degree Burns After Encountering a Giant Hogweed Plant," 13 July 2018 Presently, an invasive parasitic fly threatens to render the endemic mangrove finch—of which only an estimated 100 remain—extinct. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, "Visit the Galapagos Like a Royal," 23 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

17 Sep 2018

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
in·va·sive | \ -siv, -ziv \

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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Comments on invasive

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