View synonyms for inventive


[ in-ven-tiv ]


  1. apt at inventing or thinking up new machines or devices, methods, solutions, etc., or at improvising from what is at hand; innovative or ingenious:

    Luckily the bike mechanic is a most inventive person—you’ll be surprised at what he can do with a piece of wire and some scrap metal.

  2. apt at creating with the imagination:

    The delightful and tirelessly inventive storyteller is back with an animated stop-motion adventure.

  3. being the product of imagination, resourcefulness, etc.; creative and original:

    It’s an enthralling, inventive, and wholly unique exhibit from an artist without peer.

  4. relating to or used for inventing:

    These recordings captured the musician at the height of her inventive power.


/ ɪnˈvɛntɪv /


  1. skilled or quick at contriving; ingenious; resourceful
  2. characterized by inventive skill

    an inventive programme of work

  3. of or relating to invention
“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

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Derived Forms

  • inˈventiveness, noun
  • inˈventively, adverb
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Other Words From

  • in·ven·tive·ly adverb
  • in·ven·tive·ness noun
  • pre·in·ven·tive adjective
  • un·in·ven·tive adjective
  • un·in·ven·tive·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of inventive1

First recorded in 1400–50; invent + -ive; replacing late Middle English inventif, from Old French
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Example Sentences

Since then, 17th Street has seen somewhat of a renaissance, with new and inventive restaurants moving in, everything from Astoria, to Duke’s, to Mikko.

The Shack is the mountain town refuge of Ian Boden, a former Manhattan-based chef and two-time James Beard nominee who creates inventive but hearty meals that rely on the farms scattered through the Shenandoah Valley.

Tesla says that Milton knew about the Road Runner concept truck at the time he applied for the design patents Nikola later used to sue Tesla and that Mudri's design "constituted a significant inventive contribution" to the designs Nikola patented.

Any coach can come in and offer to install an offense that’s more inventive and cuts back on the number of pick and rolls and isolations.

“The city has been inventive in its use of the tools that are in its toolbox to criminalize the most vulnerable members of our society,” he said.

Read too strictly, this would exclude highly inventive works of science fiction and fantasy because they lack realism.

It was all so efficient, and also much more fun and inventive than an app.

The last federal position he held was Inmate--he served more than eight years for his inventive approach to acquiring money.

Yet Pee Wee proved to be among the most inventive and seizingly original of all clarinetists.

Edge, one of the most inventive guitarists in rock history, comes off as disinterested.

His fiery enthusiasm swept aside all difficulties; his inventive genius ever showed him the way to surmount all obstacles.

He had a remarkably inventive genius, which he turned to good account in the mechanical portions of his organs.

Now, youve been skating with Mother Wit and have caught her inventive geniusits contagious.

His inventive faculties and his plausible eloquence were no more; and he seemed to have sunk into second childhood.

He had been a bachelor with an inventive turn of mind and only one lung when he met the Widow Chisholme at the Springs.