innovation

noun
in·​no·​va·​tion | \ ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce innovation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce innovational (audio) , -​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 Some of its innovations have spread around the world. The Economist, "How BRAC, the world’s biggest charity, made Bangladesh richer," 5 Sep. 2019 Yet more often than not, bad policies rather than bad luck have hindered the potential of these innovations and their ability to help more people. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s innovators say their scrappy skills are needed to fix an unlikely problem—politics," 4 Sep. 2019 Raw milk trial Babcock could not have envisioned that the quality of milk, although in a very different context, would become a lightning rod more than a century after his innovation. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Margarine smugglers, a deadly milk war and more flavor Wisconsin's dairy history," 28 Aug. 2019 Landry became the most famous coach in the game, known not just for his innovation and winning but also his trademark fedora and his sideline stoicism. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 The still relatively young VC industry has birthed some of the greatest innovations of our time, including iconic companies like Apple, Tesla, and Google. Aimee Groth, Quartz, "Andrew Yang’s basic income plan permits Americans to fail. And that’s a good thing," 20 Aug. 2019 This Herbal Essences shampoo is one of the most impressive innovations of 2019. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Clean Hair Care Is Hard—But Not Impossible," 12 Aug. 2019 Ross wanted everything under one umbrella, that was his big innovation. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How the megadevelopment era shapes cities today," 30 July 2019 Their innovation was to deploy a multibeam sonar instrument—similar to technology commercial fishers use to spot a prizewinning catch—to repeatedly map the topography of the glacier’s face from a safe distance. Jennifer Leman, Scientific American, "Alarming Sonar Results Show Glaciers May Be Melting Faster Than We Expected," 26 July 2019

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

27 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce innovation (audio)

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 How to pronounce innovation (audio) \

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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Comments on innovation

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