ide·​a·​tion | \ˌī-dē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of ideation 

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

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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

Trigger Warning: This piece is one writer's experience with depression and ADHD and includes mentions of suicidal ideation. Kayleigh Roberts, Allure, "Why Women With ADHD Like Me Get Diagnosed So Late in Adulthood," 25 Oct. 2018 How design can help: Enclosed, comfortable booths promote focus [3], while open floor plans [4] with low seating, high ceilings and outdoor views can aid in brainstorming and creative ideation. John Medina And, WSJ, "How Neuroscience Is Optimizing the Office," 1 May 2018 Helping establish relationships between students and faculty can also serve as a preventive measure with regard to suicidal ideation, violence, bullying, etc. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Suicide: How schools should approach the subject with students," 8 June 2018 According to one study, when transgender people are able to use their names in everyday life (and not called by their dead name), their risk of depression and suicidal ideation decreases. Caitlin Wolper, Teen Vogue, "Ontario Just Issued its First Non-Binary Birth Certificate," 8 May 2018 But some experts were concerned that a viewer who may be in a similar situation as Hannah, who has suicidal ideation, may feel discouraged by the show and shy away from talking to a parent, guardian, or counselor. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s What 7 Mental Health Experts Really Think About ‘13 Reasons Why’," 9 May 2018 The trio will reportedly be surrounded by a group of people, selected by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who have experienced suicidal ideations or lost someone to death by suicide. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Khalid, Alessia Cara, and Logic Will Stand With People Affected by Suicide During Grammys Performance," 10 Jan. 2018 The offices also include a game room with classic arcade titles and the latest gaming consoles, as well as an ideation room to fuel creativity, complete with relaxed lounge furniture and a library of inspiring books and periodicals. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Rebrands to BSE Global," 7 June 2018 The most worrisome of all to Orloff are apps offering help for people experiencing suicide ideation or seeking anxiety release hypnosis. Ken Alltucker, Alex Connor And Jayne O'donnell, USA TODAY, "Mobile therapy apps: With suicide rates on the rise, can text chats rescue those on the edge?," 15 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of ideation

1818, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ideation

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ideation

The first known use of ideation was in 1818

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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 \

Medical Definition of ideation 

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

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by force of circumstances

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