in·no·vate | \ˈi-nə-ˌvāt \
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 \ noun
innovatory \ˈi-nə-və-ˌtȯr-ē, 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

Analysts attribute the drop largely to Ford’s failure to innovate and customize its cars for technology-loving Chinese customers. Christina Rogers, WSJ, "Why Ford’s Big China Wager Is Faltering," 10 May 2018 For a company whose core trap hasn’t changed much over the last century, Victor has been innovating with products that have gone from props in the Roadrunner cartoon to something out of Blade Runner 2049. Bob Fernandez,, "Comcast's latest thing: Helping Victor's wireless rodent traps send kill alerts," 4 Apr. 2018 WorryFree reads as cartoonish, but the heart of its villainy—anti-unionism in favor of efficiency, selling regardless of the client’s morality, innovating without weighing the costs—is strikingly recognizable. Joseph Bien-kahn, WIRED, "Radical As Ever, Boots Riley Takes On the Tech Boom," 4 July 2018 Circular design on the rise Nicholas Calcott Ahead of Salone del Mobile 2018, the Milan fair issued a manifesto of sorts calling on designers to embrace the circular economy and innovate on sustainability. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "All the NYCxDesign 2018 highlights you should know," 30 May 2018 Emerging from the graffiti tradition, Persué has innovated his style to intersect street and gallery aesthetics. Linda Mcintosh,, "Escondido gets 90+ firefighting jackets," 5 July 2018 The music app space is getting really good: everybody's innovating so quickly and creating so many really great consumer experiences. Dan Rys, Billboard, "Inside YouTube's New Subscription Music Streaming Service," 22 May 2018 Technology is innovating rapidly, and entirely new models for mobility and transportation services are being explored every day. Debbie Mielewski, Time, "The Boss: Debbie Mielewski Made Ford Cars More Eco-Friendly," 28 Feb. 2018 Creating a research division to build groundbreaking products is a mainstay of companies whose worth is tied to their ability to innovate. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 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

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for innovate

The first known use of innovate was in 1548

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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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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