in·​ven·​to·​ry | \ ˈin-vən-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce inventory (audio) \
plural inventories

Definition of inventory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an itemized list of current assets: such as
(1) : a list of goods on hand
(2) : a catalog of the property of an individual or estate
b : a list of traits, preferences, attitudes, interests, or abilities used to evaluate personal characteristics or skills
c : a survey of natural resources
2 : the quantity of goods or materials on hand : stock
3 : the act or process of taking an inventory


inventoried; inventorying

Definition of inventory (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make an inventory of : catalog

Other Words from inventory


inventorial \ ˌin-​vən-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce inventory (audio) \ adjective
inventorially \ ˌin-​vən-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce inventory (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for inventory

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of inventory in a Sentence

Noun We made an inventory of the library's collection. The dealer keeps a large inventory of used cars and trucks. Inventories at both stores were low. How can a small business afford to keep so much inventory? We'll be doing inventory on the collection soon. Verb We'll be inventorying the collection soon. would you inventory the supplies in the back room? See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Housing inventory has surged in parts of the country as would-be home buyers, priced out by soaring inflation, have pulled back, analysts and real estate professionals say. Aaron Gregg And Yiwen Lu, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Aug. 2022 Often, companies go through a process to evaluate and buy tools that end up becoming the digital version of a physical data catalog, an inventory. Shinji Kim, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 Old Navy, a unit of Gap Inc., GPS 0.83%▲ has been beset with inventory problems in recent months, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 In June, inventory saw its first year-over-year turnaround in three years. Anna Bahney, CNN, 1 Aug. 2022 Tool Library members are also able to donate to the library’s inventory. Dia Gill, Chicago Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 Even before the inventory glut appeared this spring, returns had been a major problem for retailers. Michael Corkery,, 30 July 2022 That has lifted inventory almost to pre-pandemic levels. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 July 2022 Supplies like personal protective equipment generally weren’t part of the stockpile's inventory. Tonya Bauer, NBC News, 28 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Amazon officials said the surveillance is needed to keep employees and inventory safe. Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, 12 June 2022 In addition, the government will inventory and assess wells in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah. Janet Mcconnaughey, Chron, 25 May 2022 And the Utah Food Bank has to inventory and process donations before they can be sent to one of its partner agencies. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 May 2022 Another $2 million will go to help Ohio communities that can’t afford on their own to identify and inventory lead pipes in their public water systems, according to the release. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 7 Mar. 2022 Take some time to inventory everything in your setup. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 11 July 2014 To the extent that the joint forecast helps inventory to be positioned in the right location and shipped using lower cost services, both FedEx and their customers can benefit. Steve Banker, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 The museum also wants to purchase a new computer to inventory the collection and secure a new space for the museum. Aaron Mudd, The Courier-Journal, 27 Jan. 2022 Rather than pausing to plan and inventory her skills and experiences, her knee-jerk reaction was to act — desperately and fast. Palena Neale, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inventory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inventory


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inventory


Middle English inventarie, inventorie, from Anglo-French inventaire, inventorie, from Latin inventarium, from inventum thing found, topic, neuter of inventus

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Time Traveler for inventory

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

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Dictionary Entries Near inventory



inventory control

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Statistics for inventory

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inventory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for inventory


in·​ven·​to·​ry | \ ˈin-vən-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce inventory (audio) \
plural inventories

Kids Definition of inventory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a supply of goods Inventory is low.
2 : a list of items (as goods on hand)
3 : the act or process of making a list of items


inventoried; inventorying

Kids Definition of inventory (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a complete list of Store workers inventoried the stock.


in·​ven·​to·​ry | \ ˈin-vən-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce inventory (audio) \
plural inventories

Medical Definition of inventory

1 : a questionnaire designed to provide an index of individual interests or personality traits
2 : a list of traits, preferences, attitudes, interests, or abilities that is used in evaluating personal characteristics or skills


in·​ven·​to·​ry | \ ˈin-vən-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce inventory (audio) \
plural inventories

Legal Definition of inventory

1 : an itemized list of current assets: as
a : a written list or catalog of the property of an individual, organization, or estate or succession that is made by a fiduciary under oath and that usually describes and assigns a value to the items or classes of property
b : aggregate value assigned to an inventory
2 : goods or materials held on hand: as
a under the Bankruptcy Code : materials including personal property leased or furnished, held for sale or lease, or to be furnished under a contract for service, raw materials, work in process, or materials used or consumed in a business held for sale or lease
b under section 9-109 of the Uniform Commercial Code : goods that are leased by a person as lessor, that are held by a person for sale or lease or to be furnished under a contract of service or are furnished under a contract of service, or that are raw materials, works in process, or materials used or consumed in a business

More from Merriam-Webster on inventory

Nglish: Translation of inventory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inventory for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about inventory


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