Printable Version
Pronunciation: in-vay Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: To protest angrily, to speak or write (against) with great hostility, to rail passionately (against).

Notes: Today's Good Word has a rather unexpected derivation: invective, an adjective meaning "full of inveighing" (invective speech), which also serves as a noun meaning "a violent verbal attack". A person given to inveighing and using invective is generally referred to as an inveigher. Remember to use the preposition against with this Good Word and invective, as shown in the following examples.

In Play: Invective has come into vogue recently in the US: "Many US town hall meetings were disrupted in 2009 by unhappy citizens inveighing against 'Obamacare'." Many of the same people inveighed against repeal of that law in 2017. This word has many uses around the house, too: "Harold, why don't you stop inveighing against the clutter in the garage and clean it up?"

Word History: Today's word was borrowed from Latin invehi "to attack verbally", originally "to be carried in", the passive infinitive of invehere "to carry in". This verb is made up of in "in" + vehere "to carry, haul". With a noun suffix, the root of this verb became vehiculum "means of conveyance, vehicle", which meandered down to French véhicule, borrowed by English as vehicle. The root of vehere came from an earlier form wegh- "to lift, to carry", which also developed into Germanic words like German Weg "way" and Wagen "car", and English wagon and weigh. The latter came from an original word meaning how much is lifted or carried. In the Slavic languages we see its remains in words like Russian voz "wagon" and vozit' "to haul, carry, drive".

Dr. Goodword,

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