in·​no·​vate | \ ˈi-nə-ˌvāt How to pronounce innovate (audio) \
innovated; innovating

Definition of innovate

transitive verb

1 : to introduce as or as if new
2 archaic : to effect a change in the dictates of my father were … not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed— Sir Walter Scott

intransitive verb

: to make changes : do something in a new way

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Other Words from innovate

innovator \ ˈi-​nə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce innovator (audio) \ noun
innovatory \ ˈi-​nə-​və-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce innovatory (audio) , ˈi-​nə-​ˌvā-​tə-​rē \ adjective

Examples of innovate in a Sentence

The company plans to continue innovating and experimenting. The company innovated a new operating system.

Recent Examples on the Web

From his perspective, having shepherded Acer out of tougher times, the choice was to innovate or bust. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Acer CEO Jason Chen explains why his PCs are going niche," 19 Apr. 2019 The Upper East Side offers a wealth of old-school restaurants, many of them pocket-size, none of them in a hurry to innovate. Robert Simonson, New York Times, "My Upper East Side Story: Pizza, Schnitzel, a Piano Bar," 12 Apr. 2018 These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The European Union hits Google with a $5 billion fine," 18 July 2018 How To, in my own words, really is about how to innovate, how to move forward, how to embrace mobility, and how to become agile. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "This New Fashion Challenge Is Asking High-Profile Creators to Learn a New Skill in 24 Hours," 3 Apr. 2019 But perhaps no building better represents Rio’s innovate design than the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "This South American City Was Just Named the World Capital of Architecture," 30 Jan. 2019 Watching fellow camper addicts innovate in unexpected ways. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Cozy camper van stands out with custom woodworking," 15 Aug. 2018 The hub will offer training and workshops to help developers and entrepreneurs in the region innovate and grow, a Facebook spokeswoman said, and is similar to centers the company has established in countries including France, Brazil, and India. Liza Lin, WSJ, "Facebook Setting Up ‘Innovation Hub’ in China in Bid to Boost Presence," 24 July 2018 The internet is no longer the infant that needed freedom to innovate and grow unregulated, Skelton wrote in his column last week. Christina Bellantoni,, "The strangest things James Comey said in his ABC interview," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'innovate.' 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 innovate

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for innovate

Latin innovatus, past participle of innovare, from in- + novus new — more at new

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Statistics for innovate

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for innovate

The first known use of innovate was in 1548

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More Definitions for innovate



English Language Learners Definition of innovate

: to do something in a new way : to have new ideas about how something can be done

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More from Merriam-Webster on innovate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with innovate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for innovate

Spanish Central: Translation of innovate

Nglish: Translation of innovate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of innovate for Arabic Speakers

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