A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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To Invént. v.a. [inventer, French; invenio, Latin.]

  1. To discover; to find out; to excogitate; to produce something not made before.

    The substance of the service of God, so far forth as it hath in it any thing more than the law of reason doth teach, may not be invented of men, but must be received from God himself. Hooker.

    By their count, which lovers books invent,
    The sphere of Cupid forty years contains.

    Matter of mirth enough, though there were none
    She could devise, and thousand ways invent
    To feed her foolish humour and vain jolliment.
    Fa. Queen.

    Woe to them that invent to themselves instruments of musick. Amos vi. 5.

        We may invent
    WIth what more forcible we may offend
    Our enemies.

    In the motion of the bones in their articulations, a twofold liquor is prepared for the inunction of their heads; both which make up the most apt mixture, for this use, that can be invented or thought upon. Ray.

    Ye skilful masters of Machaon's race,
    Who nature's mazy intricacies trace,
    By manag'd fire and late invented eyes.

    But when long time the wretches thoughts refin'd,
    When want had set an edge upon their mind,
    Then various cares their working thoughts employ'd,
    And that which each invented, all enjoy'd.

    The ship by help of a screw, invented by Archimedes, was launched into the water. Arbuthnot.

  2. To forge; to contrive falsely; to fabricate.

    I never did such things as those men have maliciously invented against me. Susan. xliii.

    Here is a strange figure invented, against the plain sense of the words. Stillingfleet.

  3. To feign; to make by the imagination.

    I would invent as bitter searching terms,
    With full as many signs of deadly hate,
    As lean-fac'd envy in her lothsome cave.

    Hercules's meeting with pleasure and virtue, was invented by Prodicus, who lived before Socrates, and in the first dawnings of philosophy. Addison's Spectator.

  4. To light on; to meet with.

    Far off he wonders what them makes so glad;
    Or Bacchus' merry fruit they did invent,
    Or Cybel's frantick rites have made them mad.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · The Bible - Amos (2) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Blackmore, Richard (24) · Creech, Thomas (12) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Milton, John (449) · Ray, John (59) · Spectator (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Stillingfleet, Edward (37) · The Bible - Susanna (2) · Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (36)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Invent." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 4, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/invent/.

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