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What is the difference between innovation and invention? Where should we use these words? I referred to Wikipedia but did not understand much.

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closed as general reference by Will Hunting, Daniel, Mahnax, FumbleFingers, b.roth Mar 24 '12 at 21:18

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Out of curiosity, in what context were you wanting to use innovation/invention? –  Danger Fourpence Mar 24 '12 at 18:04

2 Answers 2

While this may be absent from the OED above, in modern English innovation is more closely related to abstract creativity. Invention, on the other hand, typically refers to some type of product. So while Apple is an "innovative" company, its "inventions" involve the iPad, etc.

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That's the idea I was trying to get across in my answer, but I fell over my words a little bit. –  Danger Fourpence Mar 24 '12 at 18:03

OED defines innovation as: The action of innovating; the introduction of novelties; the alteration of what is established by the introduction of new elements or forms

and invention as: The action of coming upon or finding; the action of finding out; discovery (whether accidental, or the result of search and effort)

So judging from those two definitions, I would say that to innovate is to use a new method etc. (but not necessarily something that hasn't been used by someone previously) while invention suggests something totally new.

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