invent

verb

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

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
inventor noun
inventress 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 Paul Harrington never set out to invent a modern classic cocktail. Jason O'Bryan, Robb Report, 17 Feb. 2024 Archaeologists know that wheel and axle technology was invented about 6,000 years ago, which suggests that Proto-Indo-European can’t be any older than that. Kurt Kleiner, Discover Magazine, 16 Feb. 2024 If Steve Garvey didn’t exist, Adam Schiff would have to invent him — and, indeed, the congressman is busy doing just that. Jim Newton, The Mercury News, 15 Feb. 2024 Lead author Silvia Ferrara, a philologist at the University of Bologna in Italy, tells Live Science’s Tom Metcalfe that her team’s research suggests that Rapa Nui islanders invented rongorongo independently, without influence or inspiration from European writing systems. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Feb. 2024 Bill Post, who helped invent Pop-Tarts, leading the baking-company team that developed a toaster-friendly breakfast food with a fruity filling, a thin pastry crust and an ineffable Space Age sweetness, died Feb. 10. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 While Erdely and her editors came under scrutiny for journalistic lapses that resulted in the retraction of an article, Erdely did not invent a story or intentionally publish false information. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Howland didn’t invent valentines or bring them to the United States. Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 Whiteness, Jackson playfully suggests, can provoke the need to invent struggles that the world has otherwise failed to provide. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'invent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near invent

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/invent. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

invent

verb
in·​vent in-ˈvent How to pronounce invent (audio)
1
: to think up : make up
invent an excuse
2
: to create or produce for the first time
invented a new game
inventor noun

Legal Definition

invent

transitive verb
in·​vent
: to create or produce for the first time
inventor noun

More from Merriam-Webster on invent

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