innovation

noun
in·​no·​va·​tion | \ ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən \

Definition of innovation

1 : the introduction of something new
2 : a new idea, method, or device : novelty

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Other Words from innovation

innovational \ ˌi-​nə-​ˈvā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

What is the difference between innovation and invention?

The words innovation and invention overlap semantically but are really quite distinct.

Invention can refer to a type of musical composition, a falsehood, a discovery, or any product of the imagination. The sense of invention most likely to be confused with innovation is “a device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment,” usually something which has not previously been in existence.

Innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. One might say that the first telephone was an invention, the first cellular telephone either an invention or an innovation, and the first smartphone an innovation.

Examples of innovation in a Sentence

She is responsible for many innovations in her field. the latest innovation in computer technology Through technology and innovation, they found ways to get better results with less work. the rapid pace of technological innovation
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Recent Examples on the Web

But innovations from the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have automated its creation allowing for more than double the plutonium-238 pellets made per week. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Find a New Way To Create the Plutonium That Powers Deep Space Missions," 8 Jan. 2019 The Floridas’ work advocates for the importance of cultivating urban environments that foster creative growth and innovation. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Cool Girl’s Guide to Toronto," 27 Dec. 2018 As Matt Dwyer, senior director of materials innovation at Patagonia, tells Teen Vogue, there are many factors to creating and selling eco-friendly clothing, including factory processes, labor practices, and more. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018 Madison, Wisconsin, and Indianapolis, Indiana, part of a large swath of America’s middle section many consider to be the apotheosis of tech innovation, have each seen sizable tech scenes take root. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 But, as a result, most innovations make their debuts on other cryptocurrencies. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 That blend of heritage and innovation reflects the company now, as well. Reed Krakoff, Town & Country, "Tiffany & Co. Wants to Change the Rules of How to Wear a Diamond," 27 Nov. 2018 Well, get ready for some major software innovation. Jon Phillips, PCWorld, "Google Pixel 3: The 5 features that matter most," 9 Oct. 2018 Get your copy on newsstands now or pick up a digital subscription to read the latest in science news and innovation. Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents Sep 2018," 17 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'innovation.' 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 innovation

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for innovation

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for innovation

The first known use of innovation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for innovation

innovation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of innovation

: a new idea, device, or method

: the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods

innovation

noun
in·​no·​va·​tion | \ ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən \

Kids Definition of innovation

1 : a new idea, method, or device : novelty The company's latest innovation is a talking car.
2 : the introduction of something new Consumers are looking for innovation.

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