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

Begin with the company whose green machines bear the name of the blacksmith who, in the 1830s in Grand Detour, Illinois, invented a self-scouring plow that could turn the Midwest’s heavy black top soil. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Trade war shows reality of ‘America First’ in action," 25 Aug. 2019 Or, for that matter, look at the guys who invented Snapchat. Daniel Hernandez, New York Times, "Snapchat’s Disappearing Act Leaves Venice Beach Searching for Its Future," 23 Aug. 2019 The people who invented the tech (US/Europe/Japan) optimised it for consumers around them. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News," 8 Aug. 2019 Casper, the five-year-old company that invented the mattress-in-a-box category, raised another $100 million this year at a $1.1 billion valuation, and has ambitions to become a full-fledged sleep tech company. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "To Compete With Startups, Old-School Mattress Makers Plug Into Data," 29 July 2019 The house was next sold in 2000 to Bixby Ocean Ranches, then later that year sold to Armand Neukermans who was on the Hewlett-Packard team that invented the inkjet printer. James Herrera, The Mercury News, "Monterey’s Bixby House: Beautiful views, rich history," 14 July 2019 Although who knows, maybe getting slimed by Roger Ailes, who, along with Rupert Murdoch, invented Fox News, should be regarded as a badge of honor. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "John McCain's campaign gets slimed and slammed in Showtime series 'The Loudest Voice'," 29 June 2019 This upscale cocktail bar on the ninth floor takes its name from Thomas Kisbee, a British naval officer who invented the lifesaver. The Know Staff, The Know, "The coolest patios and rooftops to eat and drink on in the Front Range," 27 June 2019 Gilbert Baker, the guy who invented the rainbow flag? Kevin Fisher-paulson,, "March with a sense of history, and pride," 25 June 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

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for invent

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

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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

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

Comments on invent

What made you want to look up invent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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