1. The act or process of inventing: used a technique of her own invention.
2. A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation: the phonograph, an invention attributed to Thomas Edison.
3. A mental fabrication, especially a falsehood.
4. Skill in inventing; inventiveness: "the invention and sweep of the staging" (John Simon).
5. Music A short composition developing a single theme contrapuntally.
6. A discovery; a finding.
[Middle English invencioun, scheme, plan, from Old French invencion, a finding out, from Latin inventiō, inventiōn-, inventiveness, from inventus, past participle of invenīre, to find; see INVENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.