verb (used without object), in·no·vat·ed, in·no·vat·ing.

to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.

verb (used with object), in·no·vat·ed, in·no·vat·ing.

to introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time: to innovate a computer operating system.
Archaic. to alter.

Origin of innovate

1540–50; < Latin innovātus past participle of innovāre to renew, alter, equivalent to in- in-2 + novātus (novā(re) to renew, verbal derivative of novus new + -tus past participle suffix)
Related formsin·no·va·tor, nounin·no·va·to·ry, adjectiveun·in·no·vat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for innovate

Contemporary Examples of innovate

Historical Examples of innovate

  • Sire, to make such regulations is not to innovate, but to preserve.

  • Sire, to regulate industry in this way is not to innovate, but to persevere.

    Economic Sophisms

    Frederic Bastiat

  • The incentives to innovate, modernize, and enhance productivity suffer.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • They do not object to innovators because what they innovate is bad; they object to innovators because they innovate.


    G. G. Putnam and Others

  • Let him originate, let him innovate, let him blaze his path with the pioneers—let him think.

British Dictionary definitions for innovate



to invent or begin to apply (methods, ideas, etc)
Derived Formsinnovative or innovatory, adjectiveinnovator, noun

Word Origin for innovate

C16: from Latin innovāre to renew, from in- ² + novāre to make new, from novus new
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

Word Origin and History for innovate

1540s, "introduce as new," from Latin innovatus, past participle of innovare "to renew, restore; to change," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + novus "new" (see new). Meaning "make changes in something established" is from 1590s. Related: Innovated; innovating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper