• (British) IPA: /ɪnˈvɛnʃən/


  1. 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.
  2. The act of inventing.
    The invention of the printing press was probably the most significant innovation of the medieval ages.
  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), 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.
  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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