[in-ven-shuh n]
  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 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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for inventional


  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 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 inventional



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