invent

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didn't invent gunpowder

Didn't do anything significant. I don't understand why he's so conceited—he didn't invent gunpowder or anything!
See also: invent

if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him

A sentiment expressed by 18th-century French philosopher Voltaire that emphasizes the human need to believe in a divine being. People can't help it—they need something bigger than themselves to believe in, so if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.
See also: did, god, if, invent, necessary, not

not-invented-here syndrome

A prejudicial belief that products, systems, software, etc., that were not developed within a company or organization are not as suitable or well made as those that are created in-house. I think the boss's not-invented-here-syndrome stems from experiences he had using third-party software in his previous business, which apparently cost them thousands of dollars trying to implement.
See also: syndrome

reinvent the wheel

To do something in a wholly and drastically new way, often unnecessarily. (Usually used in negative constructions.) The film doesn't reinvent the wheel for action films, but it adds enough clever twists on the genre to still feel fresh and new. The company is often criticized for trying to reinvent the wheel every time they bring a new product to market, adding gimmicks and innovations nobody wanted or asked for.
See also: reinvent, wheel

didn't invent gunpowder

Rur. did not do anything terribly important. He may be the class president, but he didn't invent gunpowder. What's all this fuss about a movie star? She didn't invent gunpowder!
See also: invent

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.

Prov. People need a deity to worship. (This is an English translation of a quote from Voltaire. It is often parodied, using a person's name instead of God and implying that the person is somehow necessary.) The atheist tried to convince Jerry that God does not exist, and that people should not waste their time worshiping Him. "But you can't stop people from worshiping God," Jerry replied. "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him." The unscrupulous mayor was such a convenient scapegoat for the city's problems that if she had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent her.
See also: did, god, if, invent, necessary, not

reinvent the wheel

Fig. to make unnecessary or redundant preparations. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. Read up on what others have done. I don't have to reinvent the wheel, but I will be cautious before I act.
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel

Do something again, from the beginning, especially in a needless or inefficient effort, as in School committees need not reinvent the wheel every time they try to improve the curriculum. This expression alludes to the invention of a simple but very important device that requires no improvement. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel

If someone reinvents the wheel, they develop an idea or project that they consider new or different, when it is really no better than something that already exists. To avoid reinventing the wheel, it is important that managers are familiar with established research findings in this area. The problem is that they tend to reinvent the wheel each time they are called upon to respond to a new refugee emergency.
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel

waste a great deal of time or effort in creating something that already exists or doing something that has already been done.
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the ˈwheel

waste time creating something that already exists and works well: There’s no point in us reinventing the wheel. Why can’t we just leave things as they are?
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel

tv. to make unnecessary or redundant preparations. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Read up on what others have done.
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel

To do or make something again, from the beginning, especially in a needless or inefficient effort.
See also: reinvent, wheel

reinvent the wheel, to

To belabor the obvious; to start again from the beginning when there is no need to. This Americanism dates from the second half of the twentieth century and most likely originated in business or industry. “‘The new compiler here is no different from the old one,’ said a Defense Department spokesman. ‘Let’s not reinvent the wheel’” (Boston Herald, 1984).
See also: reinvent
References in periodicals archive ?
The other thing that is missing from Inventing Al Gore--and most other recent political tomes--is a realistic explanation of how a democracy founded on the rejection of royal families has produced a contest between a pair of princes.
Inventing experiences enhance student process skills such as measuring, experimenting, record keeping and interpreting data.
He explained yesterday: "It rankled with me because I was sure my family had been involved in inventing radio so I made some inquiries."
Mr Jacobs, a member of the Hovercraft Society, described Sir Christopher, who had 90 patents to his name and was still inventing until five years ago, as "a gentleman and a genius".
Cubans call it "inventing." They "invent" food by raising chickens on the balconies of Havana high-rises.
Elizabeth Nathan and Gabriella Pollack came up with the idea of inventing a nonreusable syringe to "help stop the spread of AIDS," says the team.
A quick search of a college library turned up titles like Imagining America, Imagining Hitler, Inventing Japan, and Inventing Motherhood; the list goes on.
72) and hailed as a lower-cost alternative to inventing all-new polymer species.
With a grade 4 reading level and a grades 3 to 9 interest level, enhanced with full-col9or photographs and illustrations, as well as a glossary and index, the new series on "Breakthrough Inventions" showcases four titles available in both a paperback and a hardcover edition: Inventing The Automobile (077872834X, PB, $8.95 & 0778728129, HC, $25.26); Inventing The Television (0778728358, PB, $8.95 & 0778728137, HC, $25.26); Inventing The Camera (0778728366, PB, $8.95 & 0778728145, HC, $25.26); and Inventing The Telephone (0778728374, PB, $8.95 & 07787-28153, HC, $25.26).Each of these visually documented histories cover the respective invention from its earliest beginnings through its technological evolution family to children today.
For generations, scientists and engineers have been inventing new materials and designs for stuffing ever more circuit components into ever less space (SAT: 11/25/00, p.
A mother-owo, who claimed her estranged husband tried to electrocute her by wiring up the garage door to a plug socket, broke down yesterday as she denied inventing the story.
Much earlier, in 1964, Sylvester wrote of Ad Reinhardt as if he (Reinhardt, but also Sylvester himself as the proper kind of viewer) were "inventing" Minimalism: "Reinhardt presents the spectator with an artifact from which he'll get nothing unless he's prepared to look really hard at something outside himself" - here, the Minimalist object emerges.
Judith de Luce is professor of classics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and coeditor of Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landscapes (University of Minnesota Press, 1993).
Kids in grades 4-6 will appreciate Hubert Invents The Wheel, a zany story of one teen Hubert, who has some ideas of how to make his life in Ancient Sumeria easier--by inventing the wheel, his greatest creation.
Patterson, 18, of Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo., nabbed first place and a $100,000 scholarship for inventing a glove that converts the hand positions of American Sign Language to letters on a portable display.