orig·​i·​nal·​ly | \ ə-ˈri-jə-nᵊl-ē How to pronounce originally (audio) ; -ˈrij-nə-lē, -ˈri-jən-\

Definition of originally

1 archaic : by origin or derivation : inherently
2 : in the beginning : in the first place : initially
3 : in a fresh or original manner

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Synonyms for originally


firstly, initially, primarily

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Examples of originally in a Sentence

That van originally belonged to us. The building was originally a school. They originally planned to fix their old car, but they decided to buy a new one instead. Originally, the word had a very different meaning from its current meaning. a New Yorker who is originally from Mexico She has shown an ability to think originally about ways to improve the company.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While New Orleans was originally due to be included, the city tweeted last week that operations would be postponed due to Tropical Storm Barry. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The Mass Immigration Raids That Weren’t," 15 July 2019 Apollo 8 originally was to go on a low Earth orbit, but the schedule for the program was pushed ahead after faulty CIA intelligence that the Soviet Union was preparing its own lunar landing mission. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "5 Washington astronauts try to put outer space into words: ‘grandeur that is beyond what I can describe’," 15 July 2019 Rasmussen was originally the company's first president and CEO before being removed from power shortly before the September launch in July. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen announces he has Parkinson's disease," 15 July 2019 Chao is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Taiwan. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "What Republicans are saying about Trump's racist tweets," 15 July 2019 Cicilline originally wasn’t interested in becoming the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. Jazmine Ulloa, BostonGlobe.com, "R.I.’s David Cicilline uses his House perch to take on Google and Facebook," 14 July 2019 The Visitation nuns who built the Bethesda monastery had originally been in downtown Washington. John Kelly, Washington Post, "For decades, nuns lived a cloistered life in Bethesda where NIH is now," 13 July 2019 No relation to the four-legged mammal that lives on Madagascar, LEMUR was designed to originally be a repair robot for the ISS. Fox News, "NASA is building robots that can climb Mars, including an 'ice worm'," 11 July 2019 There is also a table in the entryway made of holly and ebony that has two legs and is built into a niche in an area where originally there was a second front door. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Grandparents’ grand Cedarburg home is gutted but preserved after 120-plus years," 11 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for originally

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for originally

The first known use of originally was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for originally



English Language Learners Definition of originally

: in the beginning : when something first happened or began
: in a new, fresh, or original way

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Comments on originally

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


characterized by aphorism

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