orig·​i·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ə-ˌri-jə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce originality (audio) \

Definition of originality

1 : the quality or state of being original
2 : freshness of aspect, design, or style
3 : the power of independent thought or constructive imagination

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Synonyms for originality


freshness, newness, novelty

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Examples of originality in a Sentence

Critics have praised the movie's startling originality. I was amazed by the originality of her ideas.

Recent Examples on the Web

There are many books about Handel that scrap with one another over such issues as his originality, his piety, his eating habits and his sexuality. Norman Lebrecht, WSJ, "‘Handel in London’ Review: The First Musician-Entrepreneur," 21 Dec. 2018 The blazing originality of his seventh child eclipsed all of Joe Jackson’s previous triumphs. Jill Leovy, latimes.com, "Joe Jackson, patriarch of musical family of pop stars, dies at 89," 27 June 2018 The annual award is given to rising fashion designers who exhibit talent, originality, a strong sense of community, and sustainable practices, according to Buckingham Palace. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Camilla Sits Front-Row at London Fashion Week on the Queen's Behalf," 19 Feb. 2019 For many Japanese, Honda reflected the originality and self-confidence that turned the country into an industrial powerhouse after World War II. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Honda Took Pride in Doing Everything Itself. The Cost of Technology Made That Impossible.," 5 Aug. 2018 Entries will be judged on originality, humor, grammar and their relevance to the Off Duty audience. WSJ, "Win This Custom Levi’s Jacket!," 14 Sep. 2018 Much like its Cartoon Network counterpart Steven Universe, Adventure Time has been celebrated for its originality and exploration of themes through animation. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, ""Adventure Time" Showrunner Adam Muto and Olivia Olson on the Show's Legacy," 30 Aug. 2018 The beauty of the prose, the originality of the theme, the honesty of the writer. New York Times, "Hanan al-Shaykh: By the Book," 5 July 2018 The stop-you-in-your-tracks originality of Atelier Narcé. Isa Giallorenzo, Chicago Reader, "Style Ravenswood's Sailor features jewelry, textiles, fine teas, handmade shoes, and more," 25 June 2018

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

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for originality

Last Updated

23 May 2019

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Time Traveler for originality

The first known use of originality was in 1742

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More Definitions for originality



English Language Learners Definition of originality

: the quality of being new and different in a good and appealing way


orig·​i·​nal·​i·​ty | \ ə-ˌri-jə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce originality (audio) \

Kids Definition of originality

: the quality or state of being creative or new and different



Legal Definition of originality

: the quality or fact of being the product of individual creation that warrants copyright protection for a particular work regardless of novelty

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Comments on originality

What made you want to look up originality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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