"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" (see 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.
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