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See more synonyms for invent on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation, or contrivance: to invent the telegraph.
  2. to produce or create with the imagination: to invent a story.
  3. to make up or fabricate (something fictitious or false): to invent excuses.
  4. Archaic. to come upon; find.
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Origin of invent

1425–75; late Middle English invented (past participle) found, discovered (see -ed2) < Latin inventus, past participle of invenīre to encounter, come upon, find, equivalent to in- in-2 + ven(īre) to come + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsin·vent·i·ble, in·vent·a·ble, adjectiveout·in·vent, verb (used with object)pre·in·vent, verb (used with object)self-in·vent·ed, adjectiveun·in·vent·ed, adjectivewell-in·vent·ed, adjective

Synonyms for invent

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1. devise, contrive. See discover. 2. imagine, conceive. 3. concoct.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for invent

fashion, envision, formulate, devise, conceive, originate, discover, bear, initiate, produce, design, forge, find, concoct, fake, improvise, execute, compose, form, author

Examples from the Web for invent

Contemporary Examples of invent

Historical Examples of invent

  • I should be b-a-d, and I should sit up nights to invent new ways of evil.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I will move detachments and advance brigades, and invent strategy.

  • What could she invent, so to be before him in giving her charity?

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • "That's as good a description of him as you could invent," he said.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • A telegraph operator, in their eyes, has no business to invent.

British Dictionary definitions for invent


  1. to create or devise (new ideas, machines, etc)
  2. to make up (falsehoods); fabricate
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Derived Formsinventible or inventable, adjective

Word Origin for invent

C15: from Latin invenīre to find, come upon, from in- ² + venīre to come
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 invent


late 15c., "find, discover," a back-formation from invention or else from Latin inventus, past participle of invenire "to come upon; devise, discover" (see invention). Meaning "make up, think up" is from 1530s, as is that of "produce by original thought." Related: Invented; inventing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper