"an attacking in words," 1520s, from Medieval Latin invectiva "abusive speech," from Late Latin invectivus "abusive, scolding" from invect-, past-participle stem of invehere "to bring in, carry in, introduce," also "assault, assail," from in- "against" (see in- (1)) + vehere "to carry" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). For nuances of usage, see humor (n.). The earlier noun form in English was inveccion (mid-15c.), and invective (adj.) was in Middle English.
formerly also enveigh, late 15c., "to introduce," from Latin invehere "to bring in, carry in, introduce," also "assault, assail," from in- "against" (see in- (1)) + vehere "to carry" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). Meaning "to give vent to violent denunciation" is from 1520s, from a secondary sense in Latin (see invective). Related: Inveighed; inveighing.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to go, move, transport in a vehicle."
The root wegh-, "to convey, especially by wheeled vehicle," is found in virtually every branch of Indo-European, including now Anatolian. The root, as well as other widely represented roots such as aks- and nobh-, attests to the presence of the wheel — and vehicles using it — at the time Proto-Indo-European was spoken. [Watkins, p. 96]
It forms all or part of: always; away; convection; convey; convex; convoy; deviate; devious; envoy; evection; earwig; foy; graywacke; impervious; invective; inveigh; invoice; Norway; obviate; obvious; ochlocracy; ogee; pervious; previous; provection; quadrivium; thalweg; trivia; trivial; trivium; vector; vehemence; vehement; vehicle; vex; via; viaduct; viatic; viaticum; vogue; voyage; wacke; wag; waggish; wagon; wain; wall-eyed; wave (n.); way; wee; weigh; weight; wey; wiggle.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vahati "carries, conveys," vahitram, vahanam "vessel, ship;" Avestan vazaiti "he leads, draws;" Greek okhos "carriage, chariot;" Latin vehere "to carry, convey," vehiculum "carriage, chariot;" Old Church Slavonic vesti "to carry, convey," vozŭ "carriage, chariot;" Russian povozka "small sled;" Lithuanian vežu, vežti "to carry, convey," važis "a small sled;" Old Irish fecht "campaign, journey," fen "carriage, cart;" Welsh gwain "carriage, cart;" Old English wegan "to carry;" Old Norse vegr, Old High German weg "way;" Middle Dutch wagen "wagon."
"poetical recantation, poem in which the poet retracts invective contained in a former satire," 1590s, from French palinod (16c.) or directly from Late Latin palinodia, from Greek palinōidia "poetic retraction," from palin "again, back" (see palindrome) + ōidē "song" (see ode). Related: Palinodical; palinodial.
1640s (in Latin form in English from 1580s), "continued discourse, critical dissertation" (senses now archaic), from French diatribe (15c.) and directly from Latin diatriba "learned discussion," from Greek diatribe "employment, study," in Plato, "discourse," literally "a wearing away (of time), a waste of time," from dia "away" (see dia-) + tribein "to wear, rub," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn." For sense evolution, compare school (n.1).
The modern meaning "a strain of invective, a bitter and violent criticism" by 1804, apparently from French.
"a bitter invective discourse, a denunciation," 1590s, from French philippique, from Latin (orationes) Philippicæ, a translation of Greek Philippikoi (logoi), referrimg to the series of orations made in Athens by Demosthenes in 351-341 B.C.E. urging Greeks to awaken to their danger and unite to fight the rising power of Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. The Latin phrase was used of the speeches made by Cicero against Marc Antony in 44 and 43 B.C.E.
c. 1300, doseine, "collection of twelve things or units," from Old French dozaine "a dozen, a number of twelve" in various usages, from doze (12c.) "twelve," from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + decem "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"). The Old French fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12").
The Latin word's descendants are widespread: Spanish docena, Dutch dozijn, German dutzend, Danish dusin, Russian duizhina, etc. The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom is probably African, the word probably from bulldoze (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."
Transitive meaning "to burn, set on fire" is from 1580s. Meaning "break out in violence of passion" is from 1540s; the sense of "unleash invective on a computer network" is from 1980s. Related: Flamed; flaming. To flame out, in reference to jet engines, is from 1950.
Old English smerian, smierwan "to anoint or rub with grease, oil, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *smerwjan "to spread grease on" (source also of Old Norse smyrja "to anoint, rub with ointment," Danish smøre, Swedish smörja, Dutch smeren, Old High German smirwen "apply salve, smear," German schmieren "to smear;" Old Norse smör "butter"), from PIE *smeru- "grease" (source also of Greek myron "unguent, balsam," Old Irish smi(u)r "marrow," Old English smeoru "fat, grease, ointment, tallow, lard, suet," Lithuanian smarsas "fat").
Figurative sense of "assault a public reputation" is by 1835; especially "dishonor or besmirch with unsubstantiated charges." Related: Smeared; smearing. Smear-word, one used regardless of its literal meaning but invested with invective, is from 1938.