From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


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. (Tatham)

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

3. Thought; idea.

4. A fabrication to deceive; a fiction; a forgery; a falsehood. Filling their hearers With strange invention. (Shak)

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. (Dryden)

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

Origin: L. Inventio: cf. F. Invention. See invent.