invidious

adjective
in·vid·i·ous | \in-ˈvi-dē-əs \

Definition of invidious 

1 : tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy the invidious task of arbitration

2 : envious

3a : of an unpleasant or objectionable nature : obnoxious invidious remarks

b : of a kind to cause harm or resentment an invidious comparison

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Other Words from invidious

invidiously adverb
invidiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for invidious

Synonyms

covetous, envious, green-eyed, jaundiced, jealous, resentful

Antonyms

unenvious

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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").

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Monday’s ruling won’t open the floodgates to invidious discrimination as critics imagine. Ryan T. Anderson, WSJ, "Discrimination Law Isn’t Supposed to ‘Punish the Wicked’," 6 June 2018 Still others objected to the idea of a list in the first place, noting its intrinsically arbitrary and invidious nature. New York Times, "‘Surprised and Dismayed’: Readers Respond to Our Best 25 Plays List," 22 June 2018 Considering painters and sculptors in groups generates invidious hierarchies—most innovative, most original—that can relegate accomplished but less than dazzling artists to the sidelines. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "Abstract Expressionism’s Forgotten Sculptor," 3 Apr. 2018 Skepticism concerning the function of a conductor results from invidious comparisons. Leon Botstein, WSJ, "Review: The Allure of ‘Maestros and Their Music’," 22 Dec. 2017 Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote as ever, concurred that there is nothing inherently invidious about a legislature considering partisanship. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Of Judges and Gerrymanders," 2 Oct. 2017 A corporate CEO fires an employee who has challenged the dogma that only invidious discrimination can explain gender percentages in job categories different from those of the larger population. Michael Barone, National Review, "What Identity Politics Hath Wrought," 18 Aug. 2017 The 14th Amendment requires the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Karl R. Bauman, The Seattle Times, "AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage," 12 June 2017 The 14th Amendment requires the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Karl R. Bauman, The Seattle Times, "AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage," 12 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invidious.' 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 invidious

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for invidious

Latin invidiosus envious, invidious, from invidia envy — more at envy

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Time Traveler for invidious

The first known use of invidious was in 1606

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More Definitions for invidious

invidious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of invidious

: unpleasant and likely to cause bad feelings in other people

invidious

adjective
in·vid·i·ous | \in-ˈvi-dē-əs \

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

Other Words from invidious

invidiously adverb
invidiousness noun

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