innovation

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

Definition of innovation

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

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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 To many, rap was a scary cultural innovation, strange, other and even possibly violent. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "A history of Anchorage vs. rap music," 20 Sep. 2020 In fact, the black robes judges wear leave little room for stylistic innovation. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Read Every Word of Ruth Bader Ginsberg's 2012 Glamour Woman of the Year Speech," 19 Sep. 2020 Beyond carbon pricing, the CEOs also call for the U.S. to at least double funding levels for clean energy innovation and climate research. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Big-business CEOs back price on carbon emissions," 16 Sep. 2020 But uncertainty and change create opportunity and a need for innovation. Todd Saxton, The Conversation, "To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty," 15 Sep. 2020 Self-leveling underlayment, for example, is a more recent innovation that does exactly what its name describes: provides a floor protection barrier that seeks its own level within minutes of being rolled out. Sarah Baird, House Beautiful, "Building a Solid Foundation," 14 Sep. 2020 Self-leveling underlayment, for example, is a more recent innovation that does exactly what its name describes: provides a floor protection barrier that seeks its own level within minutes of being rolled out. Sarah Baird, Good Housekeeping, "Building a Solid Foundation," 14 Sep. 2020 Has been awarded the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Gold Plus Award, the Nicholas Rosecrans Award for innovation in service delivery, and the 2018 CARES Award. Segann March, The Enquirer, "Colerain Twp. Fire Chief Frank Cook retires after 36 years of service," 9 Sep. 2020 Absentee voting on a broad scale was a 20th-century innovation, and all-mail voting is even more recent. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "The New York Attorney General’s Postal Service Lawsuit Is Mostly Junk Mail," 6 Sep. 2020

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 2

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Time Traveler for innovation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for innovation

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Innovation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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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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