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

intransitive verb

: to make changes : do something in a new way

transitive verb

: to introduce as or as if new
archaic : to effect a change in
The dictates of my father were … not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed …Sir Walter Scott
innovator noun
ˈi-nə-və-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce innovate (audio)

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 Empowering Global Enterprises and Startups Alike The cloud has emerged as an equalizer for businesses of all sizes, from global enterprises to startups, offering a level playing field to innovate and optimize workloads. Emil Sayegh, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Public trust in scientists does matter, and modern society cannot continue to innovate without the work that scientists do. WSJ, 21 Nov. 2023 Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and the world’s richest person, has defined his conquest of Twitter by innovating on spectacle above all. Bykylie Robison, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 But working in government can mean one tech team is trying to innovate while stuck in a bigger, slow-moving pool. WIRED, 15 Nov. 2023 The management shuffle at Bumble coincides with headwinds for the broader dating app business as user growth slows and companies struggle to innovate and further monetize the match-making platforms. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 7 Nov. 2023 This allows the team to innovate and respond to market needs faster than developing separately for each OS. Lower Development Costs With a single codebase, Forbes saves substantial engineering time and effort compared to building two separate apps. Caleb King, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Adeyemo added that the Treasury Department is going to continue to take action itself, and would work with lawmakers and press the cryptocurrency industry to innovate responsibly. Richard Vanderford, WSJ, 7 Nov. 2023 For those inside the Israeli cybersecurity ecosystem, there is no option but to continue to innovate and deliver better and better tools to fight cyberattacks, even as the war escalates. Michal Lev-Ram, Fortune, 1 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'innovate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of innovate was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near innovate

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​no·​vate ˈin-ə-ˌvāt How to pronounce innovate (audio)
innovated; innovating
: to introduce something new
innovate a new website
: do something in a new way
innovator noun

More from Merriam-Webster on innovate

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