c. 1500, "a discoverer, one who finds out" (now obsolete), from Latin inventor (fem. inventrix, source of French inventeur (15c.), Spanish inventor, Italian inventore) "contriver, author, discoverer, proposer, founder," agent noun from past participle stem of invenire "to come upon, find; find out; invent, discover, devise; ascertain; acquire, get earn," from in- "in, on" (from PIE root *en "in") + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Meaning "one who contrives or produces a new thing or process" is from 1550s.
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