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


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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 Rather, free will is more like the ability to exercise an inner deliberation that, little by little, constitutes the individual in his or her originality. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future A cry for freedom in the algorithmic age," 10 Jan. 2020 Eilish shouted out the words of Swift, Minaj and Keys after bemoaning the lengths of their respective speeches; still, her gratitude toward the women who had paved the way for her artistic originality resonated. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, "Billboard Women In Music 2019: Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish Lead Evening of Inspiration & Community," 13 Dec. 2019 Editors then selected the final 50 based on various factors, including quality, originality, sustainability and accessibility. Danika Worthington, The Know, "Two Colorado parks make list of the World’s 50 Coolest Places for kids," 8 Dec. 2019 And then, beside the labor, so much originality in all your works. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Ten Smithsonian Artifacts You Can 3-D Print," 27 Nov. 2019 Find your oxygen, your originality, your own voice. Sølve Sundsbø; Fashion Editor: Patrick Mackie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie on Her Parenting Style, Being Unpopular in School, and Dealing with Her Emotional Scars," 5 Nov. 2019 Her originality and quick mind and spirit are almost enough to get her there through a romance with a suitable young man—almost, but not quite. Robert Gottlieb, The New Yorker, "The Rise and Fall of Booth Tarkington," 4 Nov. 2019 Gather admiring glances for your spontaneity and praise for your originality. Magi Helena, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 25, 2019: Happy birthday Mehcad Brooks; Scorpio, end a project on a high note," 25 Oct. 2019 In other words, these APIs have, until now, been viewed as purely practical rather than proprietary expressions of originality deserving protection. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "US Supreme Court holds innovation in the balance in Google v Oracle," 20 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for originality

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The first known use of originality was in 1742

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Statistics for originality

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Originality.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/originality. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for originality


How to pronounce originality (audio)

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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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