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 John Schiller, who helped invent the HPV vaccine, points out that even very low antibody levels are enough to obliterate the virus past detection, and vaccinated people seem to maintain these defenses for years. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2021 Through war-games and simulations, business schools and consulting firms invent companies or scenarios and then play out what happens as decisions are made. Mark Nevins, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 But that also gave Dan + Shay time to invent and refine. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 13 Aug. 2021 Worse, Kumar says, growers are clinging to the unrealistic idea that chemical companies will invent a miraculous new herbicide before it’s too late. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 Contrary to what his more hyperbole-prone colleagues might have suggested in recent weeks, Glenn Ordway did not invent sports radio in Boston., 28 Aug. 2021 Club for the Future has the goal of inspiring young people to pursue careers in STEM fields and help invent the future of life in space. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, 25 July 2021 Proceeds from the auction will benefit Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which aims to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and help invent the future of life in space. Valerie Stimac, Forbes, 5 May 2021 God probably created corn just to have an excuse to invent melted butter. CNN, 13 Apr. 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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Invent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 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


transitive verb

Legal Definition of invent

: to create or produce for the first time

Other Words from invent

inventor noun

More from Merriam-Webster on invent

Nglish: Translation of invent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of invent for Arabic Speakers


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