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 invent (audio) \ noun
inventress \ in-​ˈven-​trəs How to pronounce invent (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 Adobe is aware of the need to both improve existing products and invent new ones. Peter Cohan, Forbes, "After 60% Stock Pop, How Adobe Will Sustain Its 20% Growth," 8 Apr. 2021 Forget those who hold back consumption to fund or invent stuff that brings the masses out of poverty. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Inequality by Way of Government," 28 Mar. 2021 The goal there is to not try to change or re-invent the wheel. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, "Drummer Sonny Emory on His Years With Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, and Earth, Wind, and Fire," 24 Mar. 2021 Those best-positioned to outperform in the long-run will have the capacity to innovate and re-invent around new business models that combine both human and technological capabilities. Tom Deegan, Fortune, "Inside the Future 50: The 3 key traits of companies that outperform, regardless of industry," 23 Feb. 2021 The plan was to first detect the particles and then invent more complex devices that could control them and function as qubits. Tom Simonite, Wired, "Microsoft’s Big Win in Quantum Computing Was an ‘Error’ After All," 12 Feb. 2021 Even fewer imagined that a girl could grow up to govern Germany, run the IMF or invent a vaccine. The Economist, "Getting girlhood right Covid-19 threatens girls’ gigantic global gains," 16 Dec. 2020 What Altman has done better than most college coaches is simply re-invent his program. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Oregon Ducks are a program in need of a big transformation," 29 Mar. 2021 And the Manhattan Project employed 1940s-era technology to invent and use the first atomic weapons in only three years, beginning from a purely theoretical understanding. William R. Graham, National Review, "Iran Probably Already Has the Bomb. Here’s What to Do about It," 19 Mar. 2021

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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for invent



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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Comments on invent

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