October 08, 2012
invite (verb)
\in-VYTE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to make more likely2 a : to request the presence or participation of b : to request formally or politely
How do you use it?
Ms. Smith's class was invited to make Halloween decorations for the October dance.
Are you a word wiz?

What event might you have been invited to when the word "invite" came into English?

"Invite" comes ultimately from Latin, but it didn't appear in English until the early 1500s--around the same time that Henry VIII's second wife was made queen. Its first meaning was "to tempt," and we still see this use in sentences like "The book invites interest," or "That piece of gossip invites further speculation." "Invite" gained the additional meanings we give it fairly quickly after its first use in English; it was already common by the time Shakespeare used it in _Romeo and Juliet_ in the late 1500s ("So many guests invite as here are writ. Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.").
Archive RSS Feed