origin

play
noun or·i·gin \ ˈȯr-ə-jən , ˈär- \

Definition of origin

1 :ancestry, parentage
  • was of humble origin
  • She is of French origin.
2 a :rise, beginning, or derivation from a source
  • the origin of life on Earth
  • The word "algebra" is of Arabic origin.
b :the point at which something begins or rises or from which it derives
  • the origin of the custom
; also :something that creates, causes, or gives rise to another
  • a spring is the origin of the brook
3 :the more fixed, central, or larger attachment of a muscle
4 :the intersection of coordinate axes

Examples of origin in a Sentence

  1. Her ethnic origins are French.

  2. the origins of human language remain a matter of considerable debate

Recent Examples of origin from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'origin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of origin

Middle English origine, from Latin origin-, origo, from oriri to rise — more at orient

Synonym Discussion of origin

origin, source, inception, root mean the point at which something begins its course or existence. origin applies to the things or persons from which something is ultimately derived and often to the causes operating before the thing itself comes into being.
    • an investigation into the origin of baseball
source applies more often to the point where something springs into being.
    • the source of the Nile
    • the source of recurrent trouble
inception stresses the beginning of something without implying causes.
    • the business has been a success since its inception
root suggests a first, ultimate, or fundamental source often not easily discerned.
    • the real root of the violence


ORIGIN Defined for English Language Learners

origin

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noun

Definition of origin for English Language Learners

  • : the point or place where something begins or is created : the source or cause of something

  • : the place, social situation, or type of family that a person comes from


ORIGIN Defined for Kids

origin

play
noun or·i·gin \ ˈȯr-ə-jən \

Definition of origin for Students

1 :basic source or cause
  • The origin of their quarrel is not known.
2 :a person's ancestry
  • They are people of humble origin.
3 :the rise or beginning from a source
  • The story has its origin in fact.
4 :the point where the reference axes meet in a graph or coordinate plane

Medical Dictionary

origin

play
noun or·i·gin \ ˈȯr-ə-jən, ˈär- \

medical Definition of origin

1 :the point at which something begins or rises or from which it derives
2 :the more fixed, central, or larger attachment of a muscle — compare insertion 1


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