origin

noun
or·​i·​gin | \ ˈȯr-ə-jən How to pronounce origin (audio) , ˈär-\

Definition of origin

1 : ancestry, parentage was of humble origin She is of French origin.
2a : 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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of origin in a Sentence

Her ethnic origins are French. the origins of human language remain a matter of considerable debate

Recent Examples on the Web

Regulations for these species vary, but typically the country that requested the listing can issue export permits, and export from other countries requires a certificate of origin. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "What is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species?," 3 July 2019 With help from Film Forum and Rooftop Films, the park screens a different foreign film each week, usually preceded by live music and dance, and accompanied by food from the film’s country of origin. Max Falkowitz, New York Times, "A Brooklyn Cyclones Game, Capped Off With Coney Island Treats and Amusements," 3 July 2019 For years now, tennis has had remarkable diversity at the top in countries of origin—much more so than golf, say. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: The Downside of Media Training for Young Players," 26 June 2019 Every package of Beyond pet food from Purina clearly lists all of ingredients, and the country of origin for each of those ingredients can be found on Purina’s website. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "We Tried it: Tracing a Natural, Sustainable Pet Food to Its Source Out in Alaska's Bering Sea," 25 June 2019 The visitors can then be tracked back to their village of origin to investigate any linkage to a cluster of cases. Mosoka Fallah, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s porous and informal borders make it difficult to contain Ebola," 17 June 2019 Mexico, Spain and Brazil are the top countries of origin. Paul Grein, Billboard, "20 Years On, Looking at the Countries of Origin of the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year Honorees," 13 June 2019 Many in its lands of origin are well over 1,000 years in age yet still produce annual harvests of fruit. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Marinating olives, Sicilian style and simply," 12 June 2019 The challenge for scientists is parsing through the strings of As, Gs, Cs and Ts to identify their species of origin. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of origin

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for origin

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

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Statistics for origin

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for origin

The first known use of origin was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for origin

origin

noun

English Language Learners Definition of origin

: 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

noun
or·​i·​gin | \ ˈȯr-ə-jən How to pronounce origin (audio) \

Kids Definition of origin

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

origin

noun
or·​i·​gin | \ ˈȯr-ə-jən, ˈär- How to pronounce origin (audio) \

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 sense 1

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More from Merriam-Webster on origin

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for origin

Spanish Central: Translation of origin

Nglish: Translation of origin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of origin for Arabic Speakers

Comments on origin

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