in·​vent | \ in-ˈvent How to pronounce invent (audio) \
invented; inventing; invents

Definition of invent

transitive verb

1 : to produce (something, such as a useful device or process) for the first time through the use of the imagination or of ingenious thinking and experiment
2 : to devise by thinking : fabricate
3 archaic : find, discover

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Other Words from invent

inventor \ in-​ˈven-​tər How to pronounce invent (audio) \ noun
inventress \ in-​ˈven-​trəs How to pronounce invent (audio) \ noun

Examples of invent in a Sentence

Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. She is credited with inventing a procedure that has helped to save thousands of lives. She invented a clever excuse. We found out that he had invented the stories he told us about his military service.
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Recent Examples on the Web But there is always, always something else to invent—like mRNA vaccines—to improve society’s living standards. Andy Kessler, WSJ, 16 May 2021 Surely, a nation with the skills and creativity to invent a million uses for plastic also has the creativity to find a solution to this crisis and to design better alternatives. Jeff Merkley And Alan Lowenthal, CNN, 28 Apr. 2021 History is full of examples of companies that could invent but then struggled to find commercial success for the resulting offerings. Nate Bennett, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 New vaccines typically take many months to invent, develop and refine. Dr. Abarna Ramanathan, ABC News, 12 Mar. 2021 And all the narrative twists and turns the press will invent will sit atop that fundamental reality. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 25 May 2021 Mondelez has gone a step further, creating a whole division in 2018, SnackFutures, to invent snacks and hunt for and make investments in start-ups. New York Times, 14 May 2021 Commission Shelby Township furniture artist Anton Maka to invent one-of-a-kind pieces throughout. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 7 May 2021 These manufacturers invent brand names out of thin air and just put the exact same pills in every package. Mike Wehner, BGR, 1 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'invent.' 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 invent

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for invent

Middle English, from Latin inventus, past participle of invenire to come upon, find, from in- + venire to come — more at come

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Time Traveler for invent

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for invent

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for invent



English Language Learners Definition of invent

: to create or produce (something useful) for the first time
: to create or make up (something, such as a story) in order to trick people


in·​vent | \ in-ˈvent How to pronounce invent (audio) \
invented; inventing

Kids Definition of invent

1 : to create or produce for the first time Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.
2 : to think up : make up She invented an excuse for being late.

Other Words from invent

inventor \ -​ˈvent-​ər \ noun

Legal Definition of invent

: to create or produce for the first time

Other Words from invent

inventor noun


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