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 inventor (audio) \ noun
inventress \ in-​ˈven-​trəs How to pronounce inventress (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 While he's known for inventing some of the sickest moves in the game and rocking crowds with his signature 900, in a chat before Wednesday night's elimination, Hawk, 51, told Billboard that singing was one of the scariest tricks he's ever attempted. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "'The Masked Singer' Kick-Flips Elephant to the Curb: 'I Watched an Episode and Said...Why Not?'," 19 Feb. 2020 The country has a long history of inventing bogus excuses to reject shipments of US farm goods, often as a hardball tactic to push for price reductions from anxious exporters. Mark Wagoner For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Farmer: The trade war battered my business. Trump's Phase One deal with China isn't going to help," 6 Feb. 2020 Fred Morrison, credited with inventing the Frisbee, died in Monroe, Utah, at age 90. Washington Post, "Today in History," 3 Feb. 2020 In 1960, Glaser won a Nobel Prize for inventing the bubble chamber, a device used to trace the path of subatomic particles. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Indians ace Bob Feller, Progressive chairman Peter Lewis, author Harvey Pekar among notable Cleveland deaths from 2010-2014," 26 Dec. 2019 He is credited with inventing the first significant opt out, which let Rodriguez terminate his $252 million, 10-year deal after an MVP season in 2007. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "Scott Boras’ billions: Baseball agent creates free-agent flurry," 18 Dec. 2019 Consequently, the group is tasked with inventing an artificial system on which to test it. Amanda Klarsfeld,, "Spanish River High team working on sepsis-detecting technology," 14 Nov. 2019 But Kearns lost a lifetime of inventing, and society lost what his inventive genius could have brought. K.n.c., The Economist, "The value of freeing ideas, not just locking them up," 8 Nov. 2019 Maleficent: Mistress of Evil likely exists because of the previous film’s box-office success, but as a result, the new movie is tasked with the job of inventing a second chapter for a story that’s already finished. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Disney Delivers a Truly Bizarre Sleeping Beauty Sequel," 16 Oct. 2019

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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce invent (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on invent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for invent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with invent

Spanish Central: Translation of invent

Nglish: Translation of invent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invent for Arabic Speakers

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