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

Other Words from innovate

innovator \ ˈi-​nə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce innovate (audio) \ noun
innovatory \ ˈi-​nə-​və-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce innovate (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 Cryptoassets and blockchain technology at large have continued to innovate and advance at accelerating rates, even in the face of the current crypto winter. Sean Stein Smith, Forbes, 31 July 2022 Even after moving to an independent living facility in Seattle at age 97 to be closer to family, George Dondero continued to innovate. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 July 2021 What is so commonplace that no one has bothered to innovate it in years? Ryan Fritsch, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Another is creating a culture where people aren’t afraid to innovate, and establishing new protocols for problems ranging from late buses to school safety, so everyone knows what to do in a wide range of situations. James Vaznis,, 2 July 2022 Such acquisitions have the effect of leading the larger company to scrap business practices that encourage competition, neutralizing the competitive pressure to innovate better products and services for consumers. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Mar. 2022 The transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, said last month that a failure to innovate had hurt his hometown, South Bend, Ind., once home to Studebaker, which went out of business in the 1960s. New York Times, 7 Mar. 2022 Soviet Russia — lacking private prosperity, a price system, or incentives to innovate — had a deeply inefficient economy. James Pethokoukis, The Week, 4 Mar. 2022 The rise of neobanks has forced traditional banks to innovate. Andrew Jamison, Fortune, 5 July 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of innovate was in 1548

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on innovate

Nglish: Translation of innovate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of innovate for Arabic Speakers


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