Innovative Definition

What is the definition of innovative? What does innovative mean, and how do you define it? Good question.

There are several definitions or ways to understanding the word innovative and I will go through them below:

The word ‘innovative’ is an adjective, which means that it describes something else (which is known as a noun). The adjective innovative can describe either a product, idea, service, gadget, widget or ‘thing’, it can describe a brand, company, research lab or university, or it can describe a person or group of people.

But what is the definition of innovative?

Innovative definition: Innovative: a quality that describes that something (a person, a service, an idea, etc) is original, unique, cutting-edge, advanced, creative, novel or inventive. It can describe how a service does something differently from other services in the market, how a product does something creatively or solves a problem or need in an original and novel way, or how a person has a new and fresh way of thinking that distinguishes him or her from other people in his or her industry, workplace or school

Etymology of the word innovative:

The word ‘innovative’ originates from the word ‘innovate’. Innovate derives from the Latin word innovatus, which is past participle of innovare. ‘Innovare’ means ‘to renew’ or ‘to change’. This explains how the words innovative came to mean what it does today. ‘To renew’ is another way of saying to make something new again. In other words to make it fresh or to breathe new life into something that had gone stale. It implies that there is a traditional and stale way of doing things, and what makes something innovative is how it makes doing that thing or process new again.

A very simple example is the idea of an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush in various forms has been around since the 13th century in China. For over 700 years it has been used in a similar way. Then suddenly in 1954 a Swiss inventor decided to innovate on the toothbrush invention, and invented the first electric toothbrush. We can safely say that the electric toothbrush is an innovative way of using the toothbrush, because it makes the brushing of the teeth more rapid and effective. The idea to electrify it was incredibly innovative, and ‘renewed’ the way that we use the toothbrush.

I hope that the innovative definition is more clear to you now. And I hope that you are now inspired to be innovative in whatever you do, and to innnovate or ‘renew’ things that have become stale!