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

Definition of innovate

intransitive verb

: to make changes : do something in a new way

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The new rule puts a fire under an industry with little incentive to innovate: The market share for electric trucks remains well under 1%. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "California is creating America’s largest market for electric trucks," 25 June 2020 But the Model Y, which lacks a lot of amenities for its price, makes clear that Tesla wasn't looking to innovate here. Annie White, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range Crosses Over Into the Mainstream," 24 June 2020 The result, Robbins added, is that companies may not be able to grow and innovate. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Trump says visa halt could open up 500,000 jobs for Americans. Really?," 23 June 2020 Interestingly, large marketplaces and broker-dealers have begun partnering with fintech startups selectively as a way to innovate fast and with less risk. Fortune, "Why the future of financial markets is in the cloud," 22 June 2020 The first three modules teach participants how to prioritize tasks, how to understand the gist of things and how to innovate. Dallas News, "How you can supercharge your brain from the comfort of your home," 19 June 2020 Now is the time for arts organizations to innovate, artists say—to upend and rethink their business models. Elias Williams, National Geographic, "New York’s arts scene remains shut down indefinitely—can it evolve and survive?," 15 June 2020 Small- and medium-sized companies make up roughly half of the fashion industry, and are well-placed to innovate in sustainability, according to a 2019 white paper led by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. Bloomberg News, Houston Chronicle, "Startup making T-shirts from milk seeks China partners," 15 June 2020 In the meantime, Wagner said businesses should use the time to rethink business models and find ways to innovate. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "Some Indiana businesses can reopen, but aren't yet. Here's why.," 1 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about innovate

Time Traveler for innovate

Time Traveler

The first known use of innovate was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Statistics for innovate

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for innovate


How to pronounce innovate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of innovate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on innovate

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!