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 In fields like quantum physics, the phenomena being measured are so micro-tiny that scientists have had to invent not just new ways to measure but also ways to measure how much their measuring is distorting the measurement. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "The Heisenberg Limit Has Been Redefined," 4 Feb. 2020 It was first invented near Cleveland, Ohio in 1958, but the strength of the material wasn't realized until a new manufacturing process was developed five years later. Erin Glynn,, "Nike's controversial shoes, which sell out at this Cincinnati store, won't be banned," 31 Jan. 2020 In 1880, the Germans invented the beer mat, made out of wood pulp, in order to save the tables from the wear caused by condensation from beer bottles. Popular Science, "Delightful drink coasters that protect your furniture and show off your sense of style," 16 Jan. 2020 To fill time, NBC had to invent a special two-hour Dateline pre-show, which Variety reported was comprised of awkward fluff segments and extended, snoozy features on the nominees. Martha Sorren,, "How Long Are The Golden Globes?," 5 Jan. 2020 But just to throw one more option in the ring — or rather, on the bar — the Arizona Biltmore Resort claims to have invented the tequila sunrise. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "This is Arizona's most popular drink, according to one website. Hint: It's not lemonade," 4 Dec. 2019 Made by sustainable Swedish brand Fjällräven, these book bags were initially invented in 1978 with the goal of preventing back problems in students. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Every Single VSCO Girl Has the Exact Same Fjallraven Kanken Backpack," 13 Sep. 2019 Slavery is as old as humanity, and, by the way, America didn’t invent it. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "To the 1619 Project: Use More Art, Less Fake History," 25 Jan. 2020 One expert brought from Germany to the United States after the war, engineering technician Ewald Koegel, helped invent the artificial heart valve. Sig Christenson,, "At 97, scientist is last of the old breed at San Antonio’s former Brooks AFB," 29 Dec. 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

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for invent


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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