Inventive vs innovative

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Inventive and innovative are two words that are spelled similarly and pronounced in a similar manner, but have slightly different meanings. We will examine the definitions of inventive and innovative, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Inventive is an adjective that describes someone who can design new things, someone who displays creativity of thought, someone who is imaginative and comes up with something completely new. Alexander Graham Bell is considered inventive, as he conceived and designed the first telephone. Someone who is inventive and involved in creative thinking involving novelty, insight, originality and ingenuity is called an inventor. The verb forms are invent, invents, invented, inventing. The noun is invention. Inventiveness is not limited to the scientist, researcher or entrepreneurial businessman who creates inventions for patent. An intellectual who may solve a problem through the creation of breakthrough new ideas is also inventive. The word inventive is derived from the Latin word invenire, which means to find or discover.

Innovative is an adjective that describes someone who radically improves the design of something, someone who displays creativity of thought and imagination in taking the next leap forward. Someone who is innovative is considered to be forward-thinking and ahead of his time. Steve Jobs is considered innovative, as he designed a computer for home use in a time when computers were so large that they occupied entire rooms. He also conceived of the cell phone, an innovation building on the telephone and computer. Someone who is innovative is called an innovator. The verb forms are innovate, innovates, innovated, innovating. The noun is innovation. The word innovate is derived from the Latin word innovare which means to restore or to renew. Remember, someone who is inventive creates and designs something that is completely new and has never been thought of, before. Someone who is innovative builds on a previous thought or idea in a creative and forward-thinking manner. The big ideas generated through creativity and innovativeness are often found in startups. People involved in experimentation in labs often come up with innovative discoveries through the use of prototyping, especially technological ideas.


Who else would dream up inventive flavors like winter spruce, olive oil and cinnamon cayenne? (The Dallas Observer)

Inventive Labs, a career and business incubator for clients who are usually younger than the traditional start up types, was co-founded downtown by Bergeron and Rick Fiery in 2013. (The Newbury Port News)

Whatever the topic, McKay’s inventive mind, analytical skills and penchant for humor surface as he explores some of the darkest moments in the 21st century and the players in power during those moments. (The Fullerton Observer)

Inside one of the world’s largest talent agencies, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), lies an innovative studio that brings creative ideation to life. (Forbes Magazine)

The plurality of hospital leaders (14 percent) agreed Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is the most innovative hospital in the U.S., according to a Reaction Data report. (Becker’s Hospital Review)

The studies were commissioned to help quality assurance bodies develop innovative accountability measures without giving up the more traditional focus on peer review and mission-oriented evaluation. (University World News)