in·​no·​vate | \ˈi-nə-ˌvāt \
innovated; innovating

Definition of innovate 

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

intransitive verb

: to make changes : do something in a new way

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Other Words from innovate

innovator \ ˈi-​nə-​ˌvā-​tər \ noun
innovatory \ ˈi-​nə-​və-​ˌtȯr-​ē , 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

America's craft doughnut shops and bakeries are always innovating with glaze, icing, fillings and toppings so fans never tire of the treat. Ashley Day, USA TODAY, "50 states: 50 doughnut destinations," 1 June 2018 The always innovating brewery often surprises me with something new and delicious. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "5 go-to Milwaukee breweries for a beer lover's list," 22 Mar. 2018 Wynn is largely credited with innovating the current iteration of the Strip with glamorous resorts that began with the opening of the Mirage in 1989 and the Bellagio less than 10 years later. David Montero,, "Strike by Vegas casino workers could be 'crippling' with summer and Stanley Cup Final ahead," 23 May 2018 In early 1930s, the great Herbert Chapman of Arsenal innovated the formation into the WM., "World Cup Countdown: 19 Weeks to Go - Built by Arsenal, the Best Team That Didn't Compete In 1934," 9 Feb. 2018 Analysts attribute the drop largely to Ford’s failure to innovate and customize its cars for technology-loving Chinese customers. Christina Rogers, WSJ, "Why Ford’s Big China Wager Is Faltering," 10 May 2018 For a company whose core trap hasn’t changed much over the last century, Victor has been innovating with products that have gone from props in the Roadrunner cartoon to something out of Blade Runner 2049. Bob Fernandez,, "Comcast's latest thing: Helping Victor's wireless rodent traps send kill alerts," 4 Apr. 2018 WorryFree reads as cartoonish, but the heart of its villainy—anti-unionism in favor of efficiency, selling regardless of the client’s morality, innovating without weighing the costs—is strikingly recognizable. Joseph Bien-kahn, WIRED, "Radical As Ever, Boots Riley Takes On the Tech Boom," 4 July 2018 Circular design on the rise Nicholas Calcott Ahead of Salone del Mobile 2018, the Milan fair issued a manifesto of sorts calling on designers to embrace the circular economy and innovate on sustainability. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "All the NYCxDesign 2018 highlights you should know," 30 May 2018

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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Statistics for innovate

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for innovate

The first known use of innovate was in 1548

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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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Comments on innovate

What made you want to look up innovate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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