Synonyms & Antonyms of invective

(Entry 1 of 2)



Synonyms & Antonyms of invective (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About invective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about invective

Time Traveler for invective

Time Traveler

The first known use of invective was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about invective

Cite this Entry

“Invective.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on invective

Dictionary: Definition of invective

Nglish: Translation of invective for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invective for Arabic Speakers

Comments on invective

What made you want to look up invective? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!