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

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 While most banks understand the huge impact of ecosystems, few have devised full strategies to monetize, operate, and continuously innovate with ecosystem business models. Nikhil Lele, Fortune, 2 Dec. 2021 Especially when a great national goal is at stake, companies need a level playing field to innovate, produce, compete and collaborate without the federal government boosting some players while blocking others. Rick Schostek For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021 Enterprise product development aims to achieve the exact opposite by enabling R&D teams to listen to the voice of the customer and re-innovate their products with the customer's help. Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 To take on Google, a competitor would either need to genuinely innovate beyond just imitating what Google has already done or be a company that has a huge amount of control over what consumers do already, like Apple. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2021 Yet, in reality Big Tech’s leading players must compete with one another and constantly innovate, or else that company — or a new one — will overtake them. Rachel Chiu, National Review, 12 Oct. 2021 DeFi is more responsive to users’ needs and can innovate at a much faster pace than conventional finance, according to Cheong. Yoojung Lee,, 10 Oct. 2021 The implication was that with greater discretion as to how to address poverty, states would innovate and find ways to do more with less. Adria Malcolm, ProPublica, 17 Sep. 2021 Making its own mobile processors has helped Apple innovate with such features as facial recognition and augmented reality on the iPhone. Tom Simonite, Wired, 10 Nov. 2020

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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Last Updated

5 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on innovate

Nglish: Translation of innovate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of innovate for Arabic Speakers


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