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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web This was 17 years before Rebecca Solnit would invent the term mansplain in 2008, which traveled much more widely because of the internet. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, 11 May 2022 Morton Mower, an entrepreneurial cardiologist who helped invent an implantable defibrillator that has saved many lives by returning potentially fatal irregular heart rhythms to normal with an electrical jolt, died on April 25 in Denver. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 10 May 2022 Memes also frequently invent terminology that becomes part of our regular vocabulary. NBC News, 2 Apr. 2022 Britain did not invent the practice of shutting refugees and asylum seekers in faraway facilities. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2022 Critics may invent their causes, but sometimes a good critical book, or two, can create a cause that counts. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 Dozens of lawsuits are being prepared right now to try to get the reactionary Supreme Court majority to invent some pretext to overturn the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which undoubtedly authorizes Biden's rule, to make the pandemic worse. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 16 Sep. 2021 But often these little suggestions of a metaphorical meaning were simply occasions for the readers to invent meanings for themselves. Scott Bradfield, The New Republic, 2 June 2021 Other companies, like Amazon, are planning for a full return, citing the need for in-person connection to invent, collaborate and learn together most effectively. Aram Lulla, Forbes, 5 May 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for invent


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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of invent

: to create or produce for the first time

Other Words from invent

inventor noun

More from Merriam-Webster on invent

Nglish: Translation of invent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invent for Arabic Speakers


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