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verb (used without object), in·no·vat·ed, in·no·vat·ing.
  1. to introduce something new; make changes in anything established.
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verb (used with object), in·no·vat·ed, in·no·vat·ing.
  1. to introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time: to innovate a computer operating system.
  2. Archaic. to alter.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for innovator


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

Word Origin

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 innovator


1590s, from Late Latin innovator, agent noun from innovare (see innovate).

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper