Word: inveigh

Pronunciation: in-VAY

Part of Speech: verb

Definition: speak or write about something with great hostility

Source: Oxford Dictionaries


Here’s another word I picked up from the Elevate – Brain Training app. Recently, the developers introduced a new game called Association, in which you’re given a set of three or four verbs and have to match each word that appears above them to its synonym in the set. I’ve been learning quite a few new words from this exercise, today’s example being one that I initially failed to correctly match to the verb “criticize”. Maybe you can’t always figure out a word’s meaning right away, but that would hardly be cause to “inveigh” against the gaps in your vocabulary!

To “inveigh” against something is to write or speak about it with great hostility. The word arose in the late 15th century in the sense “to introduce” and comes from the Latin verb invehere, meaning “to carry in” or “to assail”. This verb comprises the preposition in “into” and the verb vehere “to carry”.

While playing the Association game, I probably had trouble deducing the meaning of “inveigh” because it sounds similar to the word “convey”, which has a much more positive connotation. Indeed, the word didn’t always have a negative definition, though one way to remember what it means today could be to associate it with the word “vehement” (“forceful, passionate, or intense”), with which it shares a Latin root. If your characters tend to speak hostilely about others (or do things that warrant heavy criticism), “inveigh” may be a great word to add to your vocabulary list!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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