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

Iron innovation came just in time for a Western world at war. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 StockX's innovations include its elaborate authentication process and unique sales platform that functions like a stock market. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Fast-growing Detroit startup StockX sniffs out fake sneakers," 9 July 2018 Factories, the chief innovation of the industrial revolution, are cathedrals of productivity, built to shelter specialized processes and encourage the division of labor. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 Réard’s innovation wasn’t the first to split women’s traditional swimwear in two. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "A scandalous, two-piece history of the bikini," 6 July 2018 The badge, called a Fan ID, is an innovation introduced at the World Cup for the first time and is almost as valuable as a ticket. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "The World Cup’s Hot New Accessory Comes With a Few Questions," 3 July 2018 But the true innovation was the high literary standards Ellison demanded of his writers. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Harlan Ellison’s Death Raises a #MeToo Quandary," 2 July 2018 The innovation is the packaging of the device in an average-size boat. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Skip the Seasickness: How Boats Are Getting More Tech-Savvy," 28 June 2018 To decipher that jumble of letters, Seales’ key innovation was to develop software to locate and model the surface layer within a wound-up scroll, which analyzes each point in as many as 12,000 cross-sections. Henrik Knudsen, Smithsonian, "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia," 26 June 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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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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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