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

Think coffee in every possible iteration, from drip to pour-over, single-origin to exclusive blends. Charles Passy, WSJ, "At Hudson Yards, Coffee Sellers Will Grind It Out," 14 Mar. 2019 Galactagogues have a wide range of origins, some of which are reportedly ancient remedies mothers have used for centuries to increase milk supply. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "Inside the mommy-friendly, scientifically sketchy world of breastfeeding supplements," 20 Dec. 2018 Then come the questions: What are its origins, who was involved, what was left behind? Lori Waxman, chicagotribune.com, "Human desire and exploitation: Don't miss a powerhouse show at the MCA by Otobong Nkanga," 5 July 2018 Most choices have Pacific Rim origins, a melting pot of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and other influences, and there are American and Portuguese contributions. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Where to try Hawaiian plate lunches on the mainland," 28 June 2018 But the origins of a key player in the family story — a great-grandfather who was a circus juggler — were a mystery. Sarah Mupo, STAT, "The 39 best health and science books to read this summer," 25 June 2018 The space will also include a small retail section and will promote products designed by other ProsperUS businesses, as well as Baobab Fare-branded, single-origin Burundian coffee. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Refugees opening east African restaurant in Detroit's New Center," 21 June 2018 Camp fashion has been an essential part of cinema since its very origins. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The 20 Campiest Movie Costumes of All Time," 23 Apr. 2019 Shamed by his origins, Jon Snow joins and soon becomes a leader of the Night’s Watch. John Carucci, The Seattle Times, "It’s not too late to dive into ‘Game of Thrones,’ with help," 13 Apr. 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

17 May 2019

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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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