Invent, create, discover are comparable terms frequently confused in the sense of to bring into being something new.
Invent (see also CONTRIVE ) may stress fabrication of something new through the exercise of the imagination or it may stress the fabrication of something new and often useful as a result of study and thought; the word therefore often presupposes labor and ingenuity rather than inspiration.
However, invent often stresses the finding, as well as the bringing into being, of something new or hitherto unknown as the result of mental effort.
Create stresses a causing of something to exist; it not only implies previous nonexistence but it often suggests an evoking of something into being out of, or as if out of, nothing (as by fiat, by an act of the will, or by inspiration).
Discover (see also DISCOVER 2 ) ( REVEAL ) presupposes both the existence of and a lack of knowledge about something; the term therefore implies the finding of such a thing, often as the result of mental or physical effort (as by exploration, investigation, or experiment). Thus, in discriminative use one invents processes or ways of doing something, as well as instruments, tools, implements, or machines, but one discovers things which exist but have not yet been known (as lands, stars, or natural laws).