[ in-vuhn-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee ]
/ 藞瑟n v蓹n藢t蓴r i, -藢to蕣r i /
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See synonyms for: inventory / inventoried / inventories / inventorying on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural in路ven路to路ries.
verb (used with object), in路ven路to路ried, in路ven路to路ry路ing.
verb (used without object), in路ven路to路ried, in路ven路to路ry路ing.
to have value as shown by an inventory: stock that inventories at two million dollars.
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Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of inventory

First recorded in 1375鈥1425; late Middle English inventorie, from Medieval Latin invent艒rium; see invent, -tory2

synonym study for inventory

5. See list1.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does inventory mean?

An inventory is a complete list of all merchandise or stock of items owned by or available from a business.

At a store, an inventory is the complete list of all items for sale at the store. At a manufacturer, an inventory is a complete list of all the raw materials they have, as well as finished items and items being created.

An inventory is also the specific set of products to sell, as in The store鈥檚 inventory of superhero capes is running low and will probably sell out soon.

An inventory can also refer to figurative belongings, such as a person鈥檚 personality traits and skills.

To inventory means to add things to an inventory list, whether a literal or figurative list, as in I inventoried my options for colleges and chose the school I鈥檒l attend next year.

Example: Can you take inventory tonight so we can be ready for the rush tomorrow?

Where does inventory come from?

The first records of the term inventory come from around the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin invent艒rium.

You鈥檝e probably seen inventory used in computer gaming, where your inventory is the place where you can keep track of the materials you鈥檝e collected while playing the game. Often, the inventory holds items that you use to enhance your performance, build or craft something, or customize your character. The first video game to have an inventory system was 鈥淭he Oregon Trail鈥 in 1971, which tasked players with traveling from Missouri to Oregon in an 1800s wagon caravan, picking up food, tools, rope, and the like to add to their inventory along the way.

Did you know 鈥 ?

What are some other forms related to inventory?

  • inventoriable (adjective)
  • inventorial (adjective)
  • inventorially (adverb)
  • overinventoried (adjective)
  • preinventory (noun)

What are some synonyms for inventory?

What are some words that share a root or word element with inventory?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing inventory?

How is inventory used in real life?

Inventory is mostly used in a business context.


Try using inventory!

Which of the following is NOT a synonym for inventory?

A. debt
B. supply
C. reserve
D. backlog

How to use inventory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inventory

/ (藞瑟nv蓹nt蓹r瑟, -tr瑟) /

a detailed list of articles, goods, property, etc
(often plural) accounting, mainly US
  1. the amount or value of a firm's current assets that consist of raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods; stock
  2. such assets individually
verb -tories, -torying or -toried
(tr) to enter (items) in an inventory; make a list of

Derived forms of inventory

inventoriable, adjectiveinventorial, adjectiveinventorially, adverb

Word Origin for inventory

C16: from Medieval Latin invent艒rium; see invent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for inventory


An itemized list of a firm's goods that have not yet been sold.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 漏 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.