• Invention


    • UK IPA: /ɪnˈvɛnʃən/


    From the Old French invencion, envention, from the Latin inventiō, from inveniō.

    Full definition of invention



    (plural inventions)
    1. Something invented.
      My new invention will let you alphabetize your matchbook collection in half the usual time.
      I'm afraid there was no burglar. It was all the housekeeper's invention.
      • 1944 November 28, Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe, Meet Me in St. Louis, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer:Warren Sheffield is telephoning Rose long distance at half past six.... Personally, I wouldn't marry a man who proposed to me over an invention.
      • 2013-10-05, The widening gyre, British inventions have done more to influence the shape of the modern world than those of any other country. Many—football, the steam engine and Worcestershire sauce, to take a random selection—have spread pleasure, goodwill and prosperity. Others—the Maxim gun, the Shrapnel shell and jellied eels—have not.
    2. The act of inventing.
      The invention of the printing press was probably the most significant innovation of the medieval ages.
      • 2013, Henry Petroski, The Evolution of Eyeglasses, Digging deeper, the invention of eyeglasses is an elaboration of the more fundamental development of optics technology. The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone,....
    3. The capacity to invent.
      It took quite a bit of invention to come up with a plan, but we did it.
    4. (music) A small, self-contained composition, particularly those in J.S. Bach’s Two- and Three-part Inventions.
      I particularly like the inventions in C-minor.
      • 1880, George Grove (editor and entry author), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians II, London: , page 15, InventionINVENTION. A term used by J. S. Bach, and probably by him only, for small pianoforte pieces — 15 in 2 parts and 15 in 3 parts — each developing a single idea, and in some measure answering to the Impromptu of a later day.
    5. (archaic) The act of discovering or finding; the act of finding out; discovery.
      That judicial method which serveth best for the invention of truth.


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