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 Driskill-Smith said her father discovered that these sites, constructed primarily out of volcanic basalt, were aligned toward magnetic north — long before the compass was invented. Peter Fimrite,, "Sheldon Breiner dies; pioneer in magnetometry found 13-ton heads in jungle," 14 Nov. 2019 Investigators say the story of Zya falling from the window was invented, and the child's cause of death was the abuse and neglect inflicted by Brown. Theo Wayt, NBC News, "4-year-old girl 'killed brutally' by caretaker in Philadelphia, DA says," 13 Nov. 2019 When oil painting was invented, it was questioned because the previous mediums were fresco. Joe Moore, Washington Post, "Are games art? We asked three developers. Here’s how they answered.," 13 Nov. 2019 These two snippets from the True Police Cases article are not direct quotes from Crick’s interviews with Smith -- but that doesn’t mean the reporter’s magazine pieces were invented. oregonlive, "Revenge of Portland’s ‘blonde babe’: Teen prostitute told all about reform-school lesbians during 1959 vice scandal," 4 Nov. 2019 Bloom used enlargers to digitally collage things together before Photoshop was invented. Lyndi Mcnulty,, "An Eye for Art: Retired professor, innovator Sue Bloom opening iPhone show Nov. 1 at Off Track Art," 30 Oct. 2019 If a screenwriter had invented Robert Evans, the script would have been tossed on the rejection pile as too tall a tale., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 29 Oct. 2019 Andean birds were refining their artistic practice for millions of years before science was even invented. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "The Bird Angle," 28 Oct. 2019 But golf is the main draw of the town; for any serious golfer, a visit to St. Andrews means the chance to play a round where the sport was supposedly invented: the Old Course. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "St. Andrews, Scotland: See the place where golf was born and Will and Kate fell in love," 24 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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Statistics for invent

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for invent

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

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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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