[in-ven-shuh n]


Origin of invention

1300–50; Middle English invencio(u)n < Latin inventiōn- (stem of inventiō) a finding out, equivalent to invent(us) (see invent) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsin·ven·tion·al, adjectivein·ven·tion·less, adjectivepre·in·ven·tion, nounself-in·ven·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for invention

Contemporary Examples of invention

Historical Examples of invention

  • Do you object to atheism, and yet regard obedience to God as an invention of the priests?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • This scene, be it remarked, is not in Plutarch, but is Shakespeare's own invention.

  • For when has Desdemona shown high and plenteous wit or invention?

  • It is Mary Fitton who has "wit and invention," and is "an admirable musician."

  • This invention gives the desired result with absolute certainty.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

British Dictionary definitions for invention



the act or process of inventing
something that is invented
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
creative power or ability; inventive skill
euphemistic a fabrication; lie
(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
music a short piece consisting of two or three parts usually in imitative counterpoint
sociol the creation of a new cultural pattern or trait
Derived Formsinventional, adjectiveinventionless, 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

Word Origin and History for invention

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