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

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Other Words from innovate

innovator \ ˈi-​nə-​ˌvā-​tər How to pronounce innovator (audio) \ noun
innovatory \ ˈi-​nə-​və-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce innovatory (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 But organizations can hardly innovate when they are prohibited from operating. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "The Capital Note: Stocks Surge on Vaccine Announcement," 9 Nov. 2020 Then, continuously innovate how your company approaches products and services. NBC News, "Tips for starting a business from female military veterans," 3 Nov. 2020 But then logistics come into play, forcing drug makers to innovate at multiple steps in the supply chain. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Pfizer’s high-tech plan to track every dose of its experimental COVID vaccine," 27 Oct. 2020 Television has a spotty track record in seeking to capitalize on performers that have achieved prominence via newer platforms, which tend to innovate out of necessity. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine' gives the Trump satirist a bigger stage on Netflix," 27 Oct. 2020 Pressure was high to innovate its traditionally strong hardware business, to reform a stifling hierarchical culture and to improve its corporate governance and transparency. Kim Tong-hyung And Hyung-jin Kim, USA TODAY, "Lee Kun-Hee, Samsung Electronics chairman, dies at 78," 25 Oct. 2020 Those that can, innovate and those that can’t, fall away. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is 'The Bachelorette's Ben Smith, a Fitness Coach?," 13 Oct. 2020 That could reduce big companies’ need to innovate in order to maintain market share, ultimately damping the dynamism of the U.S. economy. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Covid Is Crushing Small Businesses. That’s Bad News for American Innovation.," 9 Oct. 2020 But amidst the chaos and the confusion, Ohioans have found ways to innovate. Anna Staver, The Enquirer, "Ohioans find ways to innovate during coronavirus confusion," 5 Oct. 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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Statistics for innovate

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for innovate


How to pronounce innovate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of innovate

: to do something in a new way : to have new ideas about how something can be done

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