origin

noun

or·​i·​gin ˈȯr-ə-jən How to pronounce origin (audio)
ˈär-
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
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 Marlowe Sommer sent the jury home for the day Friday morning after a dramatic hearing in which Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas demanded the case be dismissed, pointing to possible evidence related to the origin of the live ammo. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2024 The origin of the chips are said to be linked to Belgium and France for distinct reasons. Francisco Velasquez, Quartz, 12 July 2024 Perhaps one of modern folk’s most indelible examples of a historical folk song distilled by time, the origins of the chorus stretch through several iterations traced back to the 1940s. Alessandro Corona, The Enquirer, 11 July 2024 Below, during a recent conversation with THR, Gilroy also discusses the honest feedback that her family and friends provided her during writing, before explaining the origin story of Fly Me to the Moon’s feline scene-stealer, Mischief. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for origin 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'origin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English origine, from Latin origin-, origo, from oriri to rise — more at orient entry 2

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near origin

Cite this Entry

“Origin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/origin. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

origin

noun
or·​i·​gin ˈȯr-ə-jən How to pronounce origin (audio)
ˈär-
1
2
a
: a rising, beginning, or coming from a source
b
: basic source or cause
3
: the intersection of the x-axis and y-axis on a graph
Etymology

Middle English origine "ancestry," from Latin origin-, origo, from oriri "to rise" — related to aborigine, orient see Word History at orient

Medical Definition

origin

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

More from Merriam-Webster on origin

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