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Origin of inventive

1400–50; invent + -ive; replacing late Middle English inventif < Middle French
Related formsin·ven·tive·ly, adverbin·ven·tive·ness, nounpre·in·ven·tive, adjectiveun·in·ven·tive, adjectiveun·in·ven·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for inventive


  1. skilled or quick at contriving; ingenious; resourceful
  2. characterized by inventive skillan inventive programme of work
  3. of or relating to invention
Derived Formsinventively, adverbinventiveness, noun
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 inventive

early 15c., "skilled in invention," from Old French inventif (15c.), from Latin invent-, past participle stem of invenire (see invention). Related: Inventively; inventiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper