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Synonym Chooser

How is the word invective distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of invective are abuse, billingsgate, obloquy, and vituperation. While all these words mean "vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval," invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation.

blistering political invective

When is abuse a more appropriate choice than invective?

The synonyms abuse and invective are sometimes interchangeable, but abuse, the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language.

scathing verbal abuse

When could billingsgate be used to replace invective?

The meanings of billingsgate and invective largely overlap; however, billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse.

directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver

When is it sensible to use obloquy instead of invective?

Although the words obloquy and invective have much in common, obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace.

subjected to obloquy and derision

When would vituperation be a good substitute for invective?

While in some cases nearly identical to invective, vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse.

a torrent of vituperation


Thesaurus Entries Near invective

Cite this Entry

“Invective.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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