orig·i·nal·i·ty | \ə-ˌri-jə-ˈna-lə-tē \

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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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

Yet, for me, the player who best combines originality, winning, and regional identity while competing in the golden era of his sport is Isiah Thomas. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "1 G.O.A.T. to rule 'em all? Who's the greatest in Detroit team sports?," 10 June 2018 Judges are basing their selections on photo captions, originality, and on whether the dream yogurt flavors sound appealing and marketable to the masses. Melissa Locker, Time, "This Company Wants You to Travel the World as a Professional ‘Flavor Finder'," 4 Apr. 2018 If Last Christmas has even 1/10 of the originality that A Christmas Prince’s sequel promises, the anticipation will be enough to carry us all through the long summer months. Anna Millard, refinery29.com, "Move Over A Christmas Prince, You’ve Got Holiday Rom-Com Competition," 1 July 2018 Original names fare much better: the F-22 Raptor is the first jet bearing the name Raptor and, for the sake of originality, hopefully the last for a very long time. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The F-35’s New, Much Better Nickname is “Panther”," 21 May 2018 Ditko was the only Marvel artist given the licence to not draw like Kirby because his signature style -- moody, off-kilter, wirey, and sometimes psychedelic -- possessed an originality that couldn’t be streamlined. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, is dead.," 7 July 2018 When women dress for themselves, that’s where creativity and originality really shows. Mariel Cruz, Vogue, "L.A.’s Cool Kids Gather to Celebrate a Super Fly Fashion Collaboration at The Underground Museum," 28 Feb. 2018 That’s because the ladies who wear Hian revel in expensive originality, but do not like to disclose that information. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "Welcome to Paula Hian's King of Prussia pop-up | Elizabeth Wellington," 12 July 2018 None of the performances is disappointing; none of them ultimately stands out for its detail or originality, either. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: A Conductor Sets Munich’s Ashen ‘Parsifal’ Aflame," 1 July 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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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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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 \

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 reject or criticize sharply

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