mid-14c., "not perceptible to sight, incapable of being seen," from Old French invisible (13c.), from Latin invisibilis "unseen, not visible," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + visibilis (see visible). Meaning "kept out of sight" is from 1640s. As a noun, "things invisible," from 1640s. Invisible Man is from H.G. Wells's novel (1897); invisible ink is from 1680s. Related: Invisibly.