Definition of inventory in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪnv(ə)nt(ə)ri/

noun (plural inventories)

1A complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building.
Example sentences
  • About 6 per cent of the slaves listed as sick in inventories of sugar properties suffered from cansaço or exhaustion.
  • Intranets tie machines together, network storage provides repositories for data and information, and system inventories and file indexes list available resources.
  • Such pieces are sometimes tantalisingly listed in inventories, but specific descriptive information about their precise shape, size, decoration, and origins is rarely provided.
list, listing, catalogue, directory, record, register, checklist, tally, roster, file, log, account, archive, description, statement
1.1chiefly North American A quantity of merchandise or goods held in stock: in our warehouse you’ll find a large inventory of new and used bicycles
More example sentences
  • Burned in recent years by huge unsold inventories of movie merchandise and fearful of the slowing economy, everyone from toymakers and retailers to moviemakers has cut back.
  • At the same time, we've also observed an increase in both the quality and quantity of the inventory of regional sound rental companies.
  • Even as retailers and wholesale distributors built up inventories, factory stockpiles so far this year are down at a 4.4% annual rate.
1.2(In accounting) the entire stock of a business, including materials, components, work in progress, and finished product.
Example sentences
  • Striving for sales growth often means major upfront investments in assets, including accounts receivables, inventories, production equipment and facilities.
  • Based on the revised data for third-quarter gross domestic product, businesses liquidated inventories last quarter at the fastest rate in any quarter since World War II.
  • Businesses increased inventories by an annualized $12.8 billion, but this was down from an increase of $25.8 billion in the fourth quarter.

verb (inventories, inventorying, inventoried)

[with object]
1Make a complete list of: I inventoried his collection of drawings
More example sentences
  • It seemed that this person might have been chasing particularly items, but since the whole collection wasn't inventoried, it was really impossible to say.
  • ‘During the renovation, we inventoried the museum's collections and found we have a great collection of period pieces from the Sino-French War,’ said museum curator Hsu Shui-sien.
  • In 2001, the city inventoried its street trees, completing the plan's first phase.
1.1Enter in a list: every book was inventoried
More example sentences
  • The Iraq Cultural Heritage Initiative provides equipment, technology and methodologies for assessing and inventorying cultural sites.
  • Other differences are inventoried in this book review.
  • For liability reasons, Tucker suggests that tower owners employ a third party to inventory the site to show areas of danger concerning the site hazards.
list, catalogue, record, register, make a list of, file, log, tally


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin inventorium, alteration of late Latin inventarium, literally 'a list of what is found', from Latin invenire 'come upon'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦ven|tory

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