original

noun
orig·​i·​nal | \ə-ˈri-jə-nᵊl, -ˈrij-nəl\

Definition of original 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : the source or cause from which something arises specifically : originator

2a : that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made gave her a copy of the report and kept the original

b : a work composed firsthand This painting is a Van Gogh original.

3a : a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity an original among popular pianists, combining jazz and romantic techniques in an unusually effective manner— Douglas Watt

b : a unique or eccentric person Among other comedians he's an original.

original

adjective

Definition of original (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or constituting an origin or beginning : initial the original part of the house

2a : not secondary, derivative, or imitative an original composition

b : being the first instance or source from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is or can be made

3 : independent and creative in thought or action : inventive an original artist

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Choose the Right Synonym for original

Adjective

new, novel, original, fresh mean having recently come into existence or use. new may apply to what is freshly made and unused new brick or has not been known before new designs or not experienced before. starts the new job novel applies to what is not only new but strange or unprecedented. a novel approach to the problem original applies to what is the first of its kind to exist. a man without one original idea fresh applies to what has not lost its qualities of newness such as liveliness, energy, brightness. a fresh start

Examples of original in a Sentence

Noun

I gave her a copy of the report and kept the original. This isn't a reprint, it's an original. Compared to other actresses of her generation, she is a true original.

Adjective

Their original idea was to fix their old car, but they decided to buy a new one instead. The word's original meaning was very different from its current meaning. I gave her a copy and kept the original document myself. The book has been translated into English from the original Spanish. The concept is very original. The car has a highly original design. She has a very original and creative mind. He is admired as an original American composer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Nostalgia also almost certainly powered the success of Suspiria, which is much bloodier and more disturbing than Halloween but appeals to arthouse horror fans for whom the 1977 original is a classic. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Why October’s movies broke so many box office records," 29 Oct. 2018 The originals are owned by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, which put the show together and sent it on a tour of U.S. malls (most of the actual paintings are now too fragile to travel). Terry Teachout, WSJ, "Macy’s, the Food Court and Van Gogh?," 20 Sep. 2018 His diminutive and meticulously fashioned renditions of signs for establishments like the Paradise Restaurant and Perry’s Place hang perpendicular to the wall, as the originals were designed to do. Edith Newhall, Philly.com, "Paul Cava's 'inappropriate' art finds a home after Episcopal Cathedral controversy," 5 Apr. 2018 In the second half of the century, entire libraries were transferred to microform, spun on microfilm reels, or served on tiny microfiche platters, while the crumbling originals were thrown away or pulped. Maria Bustillos, Longreads, "The Internet Isn’t Forever," 20 Feb. 2018 The quality of the record may be poor, whether because the original was damaged or because the copy is rendered poorly. The Root, "Tracing Your Roots: My Ancestor’s Census Record Is Confusing!," 9 Feb. 2018 Susanne Bier's Danish-language original was nominated for an Oscar in 2007. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Julianne Moore to Star in 'After the Wedding' Remake," 7 Feb. 2018 The originals were painted by Richard Prince, modeled on paintings by Picasso. Pete Wells, New York Times, "The Lobster Club Does Japanese, From Raw to Half-Baked," 30 Jan. 2018 Visitors can pore over originals of the many newspapers that have served La Porte and the neighboring communities over the years, one as early as 1892. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "A quiet place to meet old La Porte," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Update: The original story mischaracterized To the Stars' deficit as debt. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "All the dumb things? UFO project has $37 million deficit [Updated]," 15 Oct. 2018 At $60, the decorations are marked down 33 percent from the original asking price of $90. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Mermaid Skeletons Are Here to Make a Splash This Halloween," 10 Oct. 2018 Ryan Grim, the bureau chief at the Intercept, and author of the original story, tweeted. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she and her staff did not leak Christine Blasey Ford’s letter," 28 Sep. 2018 This article original ran in the September issue of Woman's Day. Joy Bauer, Woman's Day, "How to Stay Full on Fewer Calories," 16 Aug. 2018 Hopefully, wholly original movies written and directed by women, like Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, will join the slate, too. refinery29.com, "Looking Ahead To The 2019 Lineup, Will Hollywood Greenlight More Women-Led Projects?," 13 July 2018 Where Netflix succeeded is also where HBO ostensibly failed — in limited series and original movies. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: How Netflix Edged HBO and What It Means for This Year's Race," 12 July 2018 In an interview, Pocan (D-Wis.) said the legislation would allow immigration laws to be enforced but put an end to a 15-year-old agency that had diverged from its original mission. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Leaked recordings of Ga. governor candidate highlight why people mistrust politicians," 11 July 2018 During the past year, the streaming giant has released seven original movies that have the glossy sheen of a 2003 romantic comedy, minus the offensive tropes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix Is Making the Rom-Com Cool Again," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'original.' 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 original

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for original

The first known use of original was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for original

original

noun

English Language Learners Definition of original

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a document, film, painting, etc., which is created by someone and from which a copy or translation is made

: a person who is different from other people in an appealing or interesting way

original

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of original (Entry 2 of 2)

: happening or existing first or at the beginning

: made or produced first : not a copy, translation, etc.

: not like others : new, different, and appealing

original

adjective
orig·​i·​nal | \ə-ˈri-jə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of original

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the source or beginning : first My room is in the original part of an old house.

2 : not copied from anything else : not translated : new an original painting an original idea

3 : able to think up new things : creative

Other Words from original

originally adverb

original

noun

Kids Definition of original (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is produced by an artist or writer and from which a copy or translation can be made The paintings are originals. She read the Russian novel in the original.

original

noun
orig·​i·​nal

Legal Definition of original 

1 : that from which a copy or reproduction is made both parties signed the original — compare duplicate

2 : a work composed firsthand as the product of an author's creativity

Note: A work must be an original in order to obtain a copyright.

Other Words from original

original adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on original

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for original

Spanish Central: Translation of original

Nglish: Translation of original for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of original for Arabic Speakers

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