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

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 Look for recognition of the originality and wizardry of the stagecraft behind the production, which already has earned eight Drama Desk nominations, including ones for costumes, wigs and hair, lighting and direction. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "Tony Awards 2018: Three things to watch for when nominations are announced Tuesday," 30 Apr. 2018 Sources must meet the PubHub News Guidelines, which evaluate a source for originality, readabiity, transparency, and more. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft shines a 'spotlight' on Bing news searches to add more context," 27 Aug. 2018 Prada clothing, meanwhile, looks backward and forward at the same time, quavering between retro and 21st-century originality. Brad Dunning, GQ, "These Are the 8 Architectural Wonders Of the Fashion World," 28 Mar. 2018 However, that coincides with a raging bear market in originality. Charley Grant, WSJ, "What Can Stop This Bull Market?," 21 Aug. 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

14 Mar 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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