From Middle English invencion, invencioun, from Latin inventiō either directly or via Middle French invencion, from Latin invenīre (“to discover, find, invent”), from in- (“in-: in, into”) + venīre (“to come”). Equivalent to invent + -ion.
Displaced native Old English orþanc.
invention (countable and uncountable, plural inventions)
- Something invented.
- My new invention will let you alphabetize your matchbook collection in half the usual time.(here signifying a process or mechanism not previously devised)
- I'm afraid there was no burglar. It was all the housekeeper's invention.(here signifying a fiction created for a particular purpose)
- 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 October 5, “The widening gyre”, in The Economist, volume 409, number 8856:
- 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.
- The act of inventing.
- The invention of the printing press was probably the most significant innovation of the medieval ages.
- 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in American Scientist:
- 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, […] .
- The capacity to invent.
- It took quite a bit of invention to come up with a plan, but we did it.
- (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), A Dictionary of Music and Musicians II, London: Macmillan & Co., page 15, Invention:
- INVENTION. 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.
- (archaic) The act of discovering or finding; the act of finding out; discovery.
- That judicial method which serveth best for the invention of truth.
act of inventing
capacity to invent
small self-contained musical composition
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
- “invention”, in The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989, →ISBN.
Borrowed from Latin inventiō, inventiōnem, from invenio.
invention f (plural inventions)
- “invention”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.