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 To keep up the fight in retail and find new ways to innovate, Amazon has decided to get physical. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Why Amazon is betting on stores," 12 Feb. 2020 The Tigers also created two new positions in a effort to innovate: Dr. Georgia Giblin will join the organization as the franchise’s first director of performance science and Dan Hubbs comes aboard as director of pitching development and strategies. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers make a slew of new hires, promotions: Here's what you need to know," 12 Nov. 2019 The businesses will be able to innovate around the regulation. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "On-site smoking of marijuana one step closer after Anchorage Assembly kicks questions to voters," 13 Oct. 2019 Those categories include headings like health, financial system, market size, business dynamism and capacity to innovate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "US dips in competitiveness index as Singapore takes top spot," 8 Oct. 2019 The amphitheater and revitalization of the Thomas Taggart Memorial received $9.24 million, the biggest chunk of a total $48.8 million the Lilly Endowment gave in December to 17 major creative ideas that will innovate Marion County's creative side. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "See the first changes that will transform west side's Riverside Park over the next 25 years," 24 July 2019 Their stumbles are another reminder that businesses that don’t innovate won’t survive for long. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Beer, Bras and Brats," 27 Feb. 2019 Banks, beset with myriad balance sheet issues following the financial crash, were slow to innovate elsewhere. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "This former D.C. insider is building a bank for ‘forgotten Americans’," 14 Jan. 2020 Blotkamp discerns late style in Claude Monet, Pierre Bonnard, Max Beckmann, Alberto Giacometti, Lucian Freud, and Louise Bourgeois—artists who kept innovating over long lives. Max Norman, The New Yorker, "Does “Late Style” Exist?," 13 Jan. 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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Innovate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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