ide·​a·​tion | \ ˌī-dē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce ideation (audio) \

Definition of ideation

: the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas suicidal ideation

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of ideation in a Sentence

caregivers are trained to watch for signs of depression and suicidal ideation—some patients are likely to put their fantasies to action
Recent Examples on the Web As these hubs play crucial roles for community, business incubation and ideation, their growth continues to fuel innovation on the continent. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "The biggest trends in African tech and startups in 2019," 30 Dec. 2019 To a severely depressed person who might be experiencing suicidal ideation, a fast-acting treatment could make all the difference in the world. Allegra Ringo, Allure, "The Complete Guide to Ketamine Therapy for Depression, From Someone Who’s Tried It," 30 Oct. 2019 Hauff’s aunt said the boy had been bullied, felt unloved and had even spoken about his suicidal ideations. oregonlive, "Oregon City 4th grader dies by suicide," 15 Dec. 2019 Lawyers again talked about McKinney’s drug habits and described the teen as a manipulative person who talked openly with friends about violence and who lied to medical professionals about having homicidal ideations. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "STEM shooting suspect dealt and used drugs, talked openly of violence in months before shooting, prosecutors say," 22 Nov. 2019 The primary focus is the Bakers’ (Kate Walsh and Brian d'Arcy James) lawsuit against the school, which claims Liberty took a blind eye to the bullying Hannah faced and failed to respond to warning signs of her suicidal ideation. Chelsea Greenwood Lassman, Teen Vogue, ""13 Reasons Why" Season 3 Recapped and the Questions We Have for Season 4," 29 Aug. 2019 Other research has shown the drug's potential to counter depression and suicidal ideation. Michael Nedelman, CNN, "Ketamine may treat harmful drinking behavior by 'rewriting drinking memories,' researchers say," 26 Nov. 2019 What has that ideation been like and what might travelers be able to expect from you? Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Innovators: Mobile Passport's Hans Miller Wants to Get Rid of All Airport Lines," 23 Oct. 2019 EdgeStorming Think of this as extreme brainstorming; the X-games of ideation. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "These 12 techniques will change brainstorming forever," 26 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ideation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ideation

1818, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ideation

Time Traveler for ideation

Time Traveler

The first known use of ideation was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ideation

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ideation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ideation



Financial Definition of ideation

What It Is

Ideation is the act of forming ideas.

How It Works

For example, let's say Company XYZ makes widgets, and it wants to get into the children's widget market. Its product development team starts brainstorming ideas for specs, features and production methods.

This ideation process includes listing possible product features, designing prototypes, manufacturing prototypes, doing market research, and going back to square one with various iterations until something marketable and profitable emerges.

In a purely marketing context, ideation might involve creating an image board or concept for advertising.

Why It Matters

Ideation is what many business people spend a significant time doing. Without creativity, experimentation and dreaming, businesses would be far less innovative and thus far less profitable.

Source: Investing Answers


ide·​a·​tion | \ ˌīd-ē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce ideation (audio) \

Medical Definition of ideation

: the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas suicidal ideation

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ideation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ideation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ideation

Britannica English: Translation of ideation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ideation

What made you want to look up ideation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!