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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Use a diffuser - the greatest frizz-beating invention ever - to dry your hair gently and evenly.
▪ Many of our great inventions first appeared as toys -- fireworks; the steam engine; the gyroscope; laser weapons.
▪ This was the greatest automotive invention of all time.
▪ It is hard for us to imagine what a great invention this was.
▪ Hailed as a great technological invention it immediately became the subject of debates concerning its aesthetic status and social uses.
▪ In 1895 he proposed to Congress that the Patent Office be closed because all the great inventions had already been discovered.
▪ Geoffrey Spasmo was dead, and the secret of his great invention had died with him.
▪ The same principle is at work in the other great invention in this play, Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking.
▪ Our distinction between the private and the public is a relatively modern invention.
▪ It is not a modern invention.
▪ An electric iron was a modern invention when the house was built.
▪ The written signature is a modern invention.
▪ The dust penetrates all man's modern inventions, so strong, so carefully sealed.
▪ However, like all modern inventions, for all their advantages they must be effectively controlled.
▪ Use was made of modern inventions, including fingerprinting, photography, automobiles and telephones.
▪ If other firms can quickly imitate the new invention, competition will rapidly compete away the profits on this new product.
▪ He patented the telephone in February 1876 and exhibited his new invention at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia that same year.
▪ This attitude was also responsible for a new horological invention that was ultimately to be of far-reaching social significance.
▪ It went from being a new invention to a regular household item with remarkable speed.
▪ Creator, the Earth is hypnotized even as we speak, with the latest new inventions.
▪ Their futures may depend on a new invention, patent, or on government approval of a drug, for example.
▪ On page 5 you will see details of a new invention competition being run by Power Farming and Farmers Weekly.
New discoveries and their applications, new inventions, arrived regularly, each bearing the promise of the infinite, controllable future.
▪ In 1986, the employer signed the main contract to supply redesigned equipment based on the patented invention.
▪ However, the evidential task becomes more difficult if the employer opts to make and refine the patented invention himself.
▪ The easiest way to earn money from a patented invention is to license some one else to use it, and collect royalties.
▪ Notably, the quality threshold is tied to the employer's existing exploitation of the patented invention.
▪ Thus, neither is a recent invention.
▪ The immune system is a fairly recent invention in geological terms.
▪ Moreover, we also know that what modern nations identify as their national culture is a quite recent invention.
necessity is the mother of invention
▪ Accounts of Koritz's involvement in the crime are pure invention.
▪ Let's apply America's special genius for invention to our schools.
▪ More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness.
▪ the invention of the wheel
▪ The Hydro-Ram is an invention which makes it easier for firemen to get people out of crashed cars.
▪ The wedge is an important early mechanical invention.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Invention \In*ven"tion\, n. [L. inventio: cf. F. invention. See Invent.]

  1. The act of finding out or inventing; contrivance or construction of that which has not before existed; as, the invention of logarithms; the invention of the art of printing.

    As the search of it [truth] is the duty, so the invention will be the happiness of man.

  2. That which is invented; an original contrivance or construction; a device; as, this fable was the invention of Esop; that falsehood was her own invention; she patented five inventions.

    We entered by the drawbridge, which has an invention to let one fall if not premonished.

  3. Thought; idea.

  4. A fabrication to deceive; a fiction; a forgery; a falsehood.

    Filling their hearers With strange invention.

  5. The faculty of inventing; imaginative faculty; skill or ingenuity in contriving anything new; as, a man of invention.

    They lay no less than a want of invention to his charge; a capital crime, . . . for a poet is a maker.

  6. (Fine Arts, Rhet., etc.) The exercise of the imagination in selecting and treating a theme, or more commonly in contriving the arrangement of a piece, or the method of presenting its parts.

    Invention of the cross (Eccl.), a festival celebrated May 3d, in honor of the finding of our Savior's cross by St. Helena.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1400, "devised method of organization," from Old French invencion (13c.) and directly from Latin inventionem (nominative inventio) "faculty of invention; a finding, discovery," noun of action from past participle stem of invenire "devise, discover, find," from in- "in, on" (see in- (2)) + venire "to come" (see venue).\n

\nMeaning "finding or discovering of something" is early 15c. in English; sense of "thing invented" is first recorded 1510s. Etymological sense preserved in Invention of the Cross, Church festival (May 3) celebrating the reputed finding of the Cross of the Crucifixion by Helena, mother of Constantine, in 326 C.E.


n. Something invented.

  1. n. the creation of something in the mind [syn: innovation, excogitation, conception, design]

  2. a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation [syn: innovation]

  3. the act of inventing

Invention (Ligeti)

Invention is an early composition by Hungarian composer György Ligeti. It is scored for solo piano and was composed in 1948.


An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product, or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. An inventor may be taking a big step in success or failure.

Some inventions can be patented. A patent legally protects the intellectual property rights of the inventor and legally recognizes that a claimed invention is actually an invention. The rules and requirements for patenting an invention vary from country to country, and the process of obtaining a patent is often expensive.

Another meaning of invention is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social behaviours adopted by people and passed on to others. The Institute for Social Inventions collected many such ideas in magazines and books. Invention is also an important component of artistic and design creativity. Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge, experience or capability.

Invention (musical composition)

In music, an invention is a short composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with two-part counterpoint. (Compositions in the same style as an invention but using three-part counterpoint are known as sinfonias. Some modern publishers call them "three-part inventions" to avoid confusion with symphonies.) Well-known are the fifteen inventions that make up the first half of Johann Sebastian Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias. Inventions are usually not performed in public, but serve as exercises for keyboard students, and as pedagogical exercises for composition students.

Invention (disambiguation)

An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process.

Invention may also refer to:

  • Inventio, the method used for the discovery of arguments in Western rhetoric.
  • Invention (musical composition), a short composition (usually for a keyboard instrument) with two-part counterpoint
  • "Invention", a song by Pedro the Lion from the 1999 EP The Only Reason I Feel Secure
  • Invention (album), a 1997 collaboration by Phil Keaggy, Wes King, and Scott Dente
  • Invention (Ligeti), a 1948 piano composition by György Ligeti
  • Inventions (album), a 1965 album by Sandy Bull
  • Inventions (band), a musical group composed of members of the ensembles Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky

Usage examples of "invention".

Nevertheless, not one for extemporaneous invention, Abraham decided to plunge ahead with his original plea for her blessing.

A preferred method for carrying out the process of this invention is as follows: Dry lysergic acid is suspended in a suitable vehicle as acetonitrile, and the suspension is cooled to about -15 C.

Late in November, Adams submitted to one further ordeal for the sake of posterity, when an itinerant sculptor named John Henry Browere appeared at Quincy to make a life mask by a secret process of his own invention.

There was invention in this early story, and imagination also, altho not so abundant.

The noblest institutions in this part of Spain, the best inventions for comfortable and agreeable living, and all those habitudes and customs which throw a peculiar and Oriental charm over the Andalusian mode of living may be traced to the Moors.

He was the author of numerous inventions, including the cagniardelle, a blowing machine, which consists essentially of an Archimedean screw set obliquely in a tank of water in such a way that its lower end is completely and its upper end partially immersed, and operated by being rotated in the opposite direction to that required for raising water.

Feng returned from Philadelphia, Tom felt that the space model of his invention was well enough along to be turned over to Arv Hanson and the engineering crew.

A knife which would cut the husk of the pod and was so constructed that it could not injure the beans within, would be a useful invention.

He reeled off the contents of his associative circuits relating to Larwich and his theory, reeled them off too rapidly for them to be inventions of the moment.

The very antithesis of commodified fantasy, this book exhibits rare emotion and invention, being rich with both event and meaning.

This easy, computerised sex, the invention of our age, deprived a man of his main, eternal pleasure: the pleasure of playing the role of his life in front of each victim.

Until the invention of printing, Sanskrit was written in regional alphabets but with the adoption of type the north Indian alphabet known as Devanagari became standardised.

One of the inventions to bring the twilight of the gathering into brotherhood with the shadows on the screen is a simple thing known to the trade as the fadeaway, that had its rise in a commonplace fashion as a method of keeping the story from ending with the white glare of the empty screen.

Future scholars will no doubt prove, Hesse suggests, that the legend is nothing but an invention of the popular imagination, constructed according to folkloristic laws of mythmaking.

Von Fraunhofer himself directed his invention to the analysis of light from extraterrestrial sources.