in·vent | \ in-ˈvent \
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 \ noun
inventress \in-ˈven-trəs \ 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

He's lost touch with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the scientist who invented his size-swapping Ant-Man suit, and Pym's enterprising daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who has stepped into her mother's suit as The Wasp. Author: Katie Walsh, Anchorage Daily News, "Review: Playfulness makes ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ sing, not sting," 3 July 2018 This drew swift condemnation from Trump and his enablers at Fox News, who invented claims that Waters was calling for violence. Luke Darby, GQ, "Maxine Waters Responds to Death Threats from Trump Supporters: "You Better Shoot Straight"," 1 July 2018 The Earth Harp is the creation of Malibu luthier and musician William Close, who has invented more than 100 nontraditional and sculptural instruments over the years. Pam Kragen,, "Huge harp highlights free music day in Carlsbad," 20 June 2018 The diesel engine, in fact, is named after Rudolf Diesel, the German engineer who invented it. David Meyer, Fortune, "First Dieselgate, Then Dieselban: Germany Invented the Diesel Engine But Is Now Starting to Ban It," 31 May 2018 The film follows Lakshmikant Chauhan — whose character is based on Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who invented a machine that dispenses menstrual products at a low cost, increasing access for women in India. Maride Espada, Teen Vogue, "Period Taboo Around the World," 28 May 2018 Bond collects retro arcade games and jumped at the chance to buy a Rock-afire Explosion band from Fechter, who also invented Whac-A-Mole. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "It's true: The ShowBiz Pizza robot band is back, at a retro arcade bar | The Kansas City Star," 22 May 2018 Most kitchen aficionados might think that the cake came from, well, Germany, when in fact the name came from one Sam German (1802-88) who invented a form of mild, dark baking chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company in 1852. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "The not-so-German origins of German chocolate cake," 9 May 2018 Regardless of who invented it, the dish is quite possibly the world’s most refreshing and restorative way to enjoy the ocean’s bounty. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "Light, bright ceviche recipes to cure the Fiesta excess," 25 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for invent

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invent

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

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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 \
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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Comments on invent

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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