follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

invention

[in-ven-shuh n] /ɪnˈvɛn ʃən/
noun
1.
the act of inventing.
2.
U.S. Patent Law. a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.
3.
anything invented or devised.
4.
the power or faculty of inventing, devising, or originating.
5.
an act or instance of creating or producing by exercise of the imagination, especially in art, music, etc.
6.
something fabricated, as a false statement.
7.
Sociology. the creation of a new culture trait, pattern, etc.
8.
Music. a short piece, contrapuntal in nature, generally based on one subject.
9.
Rhetoric. (traditionally) one of the five steps in speech preparation, the process of choosing ideas appropriate to the subject, audience, and occasion.
10.
Archaic. the act of finding.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English invencio(u)n < Latin inventiōn- (stem of inventiō) a finding out, equivalent to invent(us) (see invent) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
inventional, adjective
inventionless, adjective
preinvention, noun
self-invention, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for invention
  • They also said that the way the invention was described in court was different from how it was portrayed in the patent.
  • It is doubtful if any one invention has revolutionised any one activity more than gunpowder revolutionised war.
  • The invention of the streetcar made it possible for residents to commute from their homes to their city jobs.
  • But not until the invention of the airplane did the idea of photographing ruins become practical.
  • The law now grants patents to the first inventor who files for it, not the first to create an invention.
  • Engineering requires creative, original, synthesis and invention.
  • Every new medium introduced since the invention of the printing press has molded our minds in different ways.
  • invention of the stirrup may rival that of the longbow and gunpowder.
  • His invention allowed him to stow his bed in his closet, transforming his one-room apartment from a bedroom into a parlor.
  • If you can't see my face clearly, you may want to use my invention to evaluate the status of your eyes.
British Dictionary definitions for invention

invention

/ɪnˈvɛnʃən/
noun
1.
the act or process of inventing
2.
something that is invented
3.
(patent law) the discovery or production of some new or improved process or machine that is both useful and is not obvious to persons skilled in the particular field
4.
creative power or ability; inventive skill
5.
(euphemistic) a fabrication; lie
6.
(in traditional rhetoric) one of the five steps in preparing a speech or discourse: the process of finding suitable topics on which to talk or write
7.
(music) a short piece consisting of two or three parts usually in imitative counterpoint
8.
(sociol) the creation of a new cultural pattern or trait
Derived Forms
inventional, adjective
inventionless, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for invention
n.

c.1400, "devised method of organization," from Old French invencion (13c.) and directly from Latin inventionem (nominative inventio) "faculty of invention; a finding, discovery," noun of action from past participle stem of invenire "devise, discover, find," from in- "in, on" (see in- (2)) + venire "to come" (see venue).

Meaning "finding or discovering of something" is early 15c. in English; sense of "thing invented" is first recorded 1510s. Etymological sense preserved in Invention of the Cross, Church festival (May 3) celebrating the reputed finding of the Cross of the Crucifixion by Helena, mother of Constantine, in 326 C.E.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for invention

in music, any of a number of markedly dissimilar compositional forms dating from the 16th century to the present. While its exact meaning has never been defined, the term has often been affixed to compositions of a novel, progressive character-i.e., compositions that do not fit established categories. The earliest-known use of the term in Premier livre des inventions musicales (1555; "First Book of Musical Inventions") by the Frenchman Clement Janequin clearly alludes to the composer's highly original programmatic chansons-secular French part-songs containing extramusical allusions (e.g., imitations of battle sounds and birdcalls). Similarly capricious or novel effects occur in John Dowland's Invention for Two to Play upon One Lute (1597); Lodovico da Viadana's Cento concerti ecclesiasticiNova inventione (1602; "One-Hundred Ecclesiastical ConcertiNew Invention"), the first sacred collection to require a basso continuo; and Antonio Vivaldi's Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'invenzione, Opus 8 (1720; "The Contest Between Harmony and Invention"), which contains, among others, a number of programmatic concerti

Learn more about invention with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for invention

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for invention

12
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with invention