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From Middle English inventorie, from Old French inventoire (whence French inventaire), from Late Latin inventārium, from Latin inveniō (to find out).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɪn.vən.tɹi/, /ɪnˈvɛn.tə.ɹi/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɪn.vənˌtɔ.ɹi/


inventory (plural inventories)

  1. (operations) The stock of an item on hand at a particular location or business.
    Due to an undersized inventory at the Boston outlet, customers had to travel to Providence to find the item.
  2. (operations) A detailed list of all of the items on hand.
    The inventory included several items that one wouldn't normally think to find at a cheese shop.
  3. (operations) The process of producing or updating such a list.
    This month's inventory took nearly three days.
  4. A space containing the items available to a character, especially that in a video game, for immediate use.
    You can't get through the underground tunnel if there are more than three items in your inventory.
  5. (linguistics, especially phonology) The total set of a (specified) linguistic feature (within a language etc.)
    Germanic languages have a marked tendency towards large vocalic inventories.
    • 2014, Guillaume Jacques, “V: Cone”, in Jackson Sun, editor, Phonological Profiles of Little-Studied Tibetic Varieties, Taipei: Academia Sinica, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 270:
      Most final consonants have been lost, resulting in a tonal language with a rich consonantal and vocalic inventory, but with a relatively simple syllabic structure..


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inventory (third-person singular simple present inventories, present participle inventorying, simple past and past participle inventoried)

  1. (transitive, operations) To take stock of the resources or items on hand; to produce an inventory.
    The main job of the night shift was to inventory the store, and restock when necessary.



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