orig·​i·​nal·​i·​ty ə-ˌri-jə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce originality (audio)
: the quality or state of being original
: freshness of aspect, design, or style
: the power of independent thought or constructive imagination

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 The band pairs its own unique originality with a sense of universality. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 25 Oct. 2023 Its trauma plot doesn’t have the originality of a Bly Manor or a Midnight Mass. TIME, 12 Oct. 2023 The divisions that Wright speaks of are less familiar, and—this is perhaps the chief originality of his book—just as decisive. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 Others lacking any originality have taken to paraphrasing Ecuador’s former left-wing president Rafael Correa, claiming that the adoption of the dollar would be equivalent to a monetary suicide. Emilio Ocampo, National Review, 18 Oct. 2023 The courage and originality of the film’s approach opens up to a much larger world view. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Oct. 2023 Importance, as the main criterion in the selection of material—whether the importance was to come from the significance and originality of the subject matter or from the authority of the author. Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, 21 Sep. 2023 The Moon will go on to make two more sextiles, one to the Sun in Virgo and one to eclectic Uranus, also in Taurus, so maintaining an even balance of efficiency and originality will increase our chances of success. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 9 Sep. 2023 Designers combine wood's warmth with contrasting textures, like brick and concrete, to add character, depth, and originality to garden design. Sophie Flaxman, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of originality was in 1742

Dictionary Entries Near originality

Cite this Entry

“Originality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/originality. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


orig·​i·​nal·​i·​ty ə-ˌrij-ə-ˈnal-ət-ē How to pronounce originality (audio)
: the quality or state of being original : freshness
the originality of an idea
: the power or ability to think, act, or do something in new ways : creativity
an artist of great originality

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on originality

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!