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

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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 The authors note that their results are consistent with models that show that higher taxes reduce the incentive to innovate and discourage risk-taking. Adam A. Millsap, Forbes, "Higher Corporate Taxes Affect Everyone," 28 Apr. 2021 American businesses must step up to the challenge and craft strategies that innovate with and build upon 5G. This will ensure that countries around the world rebound from COVID-19 and set the stage for a resilient, prosperous future. Cristiano Amon, Fortune, "5G is the post-pandemic adrenaline shot we’ll need," 14 Apr. 2021 By truly looking for ways to innovate learning, improve their graduation rates, or develop niche academic specialties? Tristan Yang, National Review, "Columbia University’s Ultra-Woke Idea: Segregated Graduation Ceremonies," 23 Mar. 2021 Or is this a moment to innovate and step forward and be brave? Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pressed for time? You’re not alone.," 22 Mar. 2021 Soul of a Nation Marsai Martin hosts a look at the next generation of Black Americans and their ability to trail blaze, innovate and live on the cutting edge. Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Soul of a Nation’ on ABC; ‘NCIS’," 8 Mar. 2021 My prediction is that as the government addresses some of the fundamentals, the private sector will continue to innovate. Ann Marie Sastry, Forbes, "The Future Of Work Is Here — We Need To Prepare The Workforce," 15 Apr. 2021 Within that total, an unspecified amount would go to a new directorate to foster emerging technologies needed to help the country out-innovate the rest of the world. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "Biden’s first budget request goes big on science," 9 Apr. 2021 As evocative as that picture proved, Abloh felt his role was to innovate, not imitate. Vogue, "Virgil Abloh Tells the Story Behind Amanda Gorman’s Louis Vuitton Vogue Cover Look," 7 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for innovate

Time Traveler

The first known use of innovate was in 1548

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Statistics for innovate

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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