"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.