insidious, invidious
Since both words involve doing or threatening harm, their closeness of form causes them to be commonly confused. Insidious (from Latin insidiae ‘ambush’) means ‘proceeding inconspicuously but harmfully’

• (An insidious form of sexism pervades most biographies of famous women, a tendency to treat women's work as peripheral to their lives —Ms, 1973)

whereas invidious (from Latin invidia ‘envy’) means ‘likely to excite resentment or indignation’

• (I hope it is not invidious…to single out here the museums for mention —Oxford University Gazette, 1984).

So insidious has more to do with the process and invidious more to do with its effect.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Invidious — In*vid i*ous, a. [L. invidiosus, fr. invidia envy. See {Envy}, and cf. {Envious}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Envious; malignant. [Obs.] Evelyn. [1913 Webster] 2. Worthy of envy; desirable; enviable. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Such a person appeareth in a far… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • invidious — in·vid·i·ous /in vi dē əs/ adj: of, relating to, or being discrimination that arises from the creation of a classification that is arbitrary, irrational, or capricious and not related to a legitimate purpose in·vid·i·ous·ly adv in·vid·i·ous·ness… …   Law dictionary

  • invidious — [in vid′ē əs] adj. [L invidiosus < invidia: see ENVY] 1. a) such as to excite ill will, odium, or envy; giving offense b) giving offense by discriminating unfairly [invidious comparisons] 2. Obs. envious invidiously adv. invidiousness …   English World dictionary

  • invidious — c.1600, from L. invidiosus full of envy, envious, from invidia envy, grudge, jealousy, ill will (see ENVY (Cf. envy)). Related: Invidiously; invidiousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • invidious — distasteful, obnoxious, *repugnant, repellent, abhorrent Analogous words: *hateful, odious, abominable, detestable: Offensive, loathsome, revolting, repulsive Contrasted words: agreeable, gratifying, grateful, pleasing, *pleasant: attractive,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • invidious — [adj] hateful abominable, calumnious, defamatory, detestable, detracting, detractive, detractory, discriminatory, envious, envying, green eyed*, jealous, libelous, maligning, obnoxious, odious, offensive, repugnant, scandalous, slanderous,… …   New thesaurus

  • invidious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ unacceptable, unfair, and likely to arouse resentment or anger in others. DERIVATIVES invidiously adverb invidiousness noun. ORIGIN Latin invidiosus, from invidia hostility …   English terms dictionary

  • invidious — [[t]ɪnvɪ̱diəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED If you describe a task or job as invidious, you mean that it is unpleasant because it is likely to make you unpopular. How did you manage to get yourself into this invidious position of having to reprimand others… …   English dictionary

  • invidious — adjective Etymology: Latin invidiosus envious, invidious, from invidia envy more at envy Date: 1606 1. tending to cause discontent, animosity, or envy < the invidious task of arbitration > 2. envious 3. a. of an unpleasant or objectionable nature …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • invidious — invidiously, adv. invidiousness, n. /in vid ee euhs/, adj. 1. calculated to create ill will or resentment or give offense; hateful: invidious remarks. 2. offensively or unfairly discriminating; injurious: invidious comparisons. 3. causing or… …   Universalium

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