Definition of invidious
- the invidious task of arbitration
- invidious remarks
- an invidious comparison
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The boss made invidious distinctions between employees.
inevitably, his remarkable success attracted the invidious attention of the other sales representatives
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.
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").
: unpleasant and likely to cause bad feelings in other people
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