invent

verb
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

When scientists made the link between amyloid and Alzheimer’s in the 1980s, drugmakers jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of inventing a trillion-dollar drug for a progressive and fatal disease that affects more than 5 million Americans. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 But the fried clams are the signature dish, which Woodman’s takes credit for inventing altogether. Leah Bhabha, Vogue, "How to Spend a Fall Weekend on the North Shore of Massachusetts," 15 Oct. 2018 Theodore Maiman is another physicist often associated with inventing the laser while working at Hughes Aircraft Company in the 1950s and 1960s. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "2018 physics Nobel Prize honors 3, including first woman in 55 years," 2 Oct. 2018 The first was Abraham Ortelius, the Flemish cartographer credited with inventing the modern Atlas. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 Kate Middleton basically invented the royal ponytail. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Can't Stop Wearing Hair Bows, So Now We're Wearing Them Too," 28 Nov. 2018 Many have suggested that men invented heels to sexualize women and hold us back. Chloe Malle, WSJ, "Why Smart, Chic Women Are Abandoning High Heels (Forever)," 8 Nov. 2018 For the next several days, a hurricane of natural gas escaped through the hole until it was brought under control by a valve that Westinghouse himself invented. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "In Defense of Elon Musk," 16 Oct. 2018 Already a hotspot for adventure tours (bungy jumping was invented here, after all), New Zealand will now play host to more than 100 Experiences. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Airbnb Launches 'Experiences' in New Zealand," 23 Aug. 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

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for invent

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

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More Definitions for invent

invent

verb

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

invent

verb
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
in·​vent

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with invent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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