originate

verb
orig·​i·​nate | \ ə-ˈri-jə-ˌnāt \
originated; originating

Definition of originate

transitive verb

: to give rise to : initiate The composer originated 10 songs for the Broadway musical.

intransitive verb

: to take or have origin : begin That board game originated in the 1940s.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from originate

origination \ ə-​ˌri-​jə-​ˈnā-​shən \ noun
originator \ ə-​ˈri-​jə-​ˌnā-​tər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for originate

Synonyms

actualize, appear, arise, begin, break, commence, dawn, engender, form, materialize, set in, spring, start

Antonyms

cease, end, stop

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for originate

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging. an idea that springs to mind arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent. new questions have arisen slowly rose to prominence originate implies a definite source or starting point. the fire originated in the basement derive implies a prior existence in another form. the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception. words flowed easily from her pen issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet. blood issued from the cut emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source. reports emanating from the capital proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause. advice that proceeds from the best of intentions stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development. industries stemming from space research

Examples of originate in a Sentence

These stories originated during earlier times. The book originated as a series of lectures. The sound seemed to originate from outside the room. The custom is believed to have originated in the western U.S. He did not originate the idea. The policy was originated by the previous administration.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Though people across the globe had been decorating temples and domestic interiors with evergreen flora for centuries, the holiday tradition in its modern form originated with medieval Germans. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Made Christmas Trees a Holiday Staple," 18 Dec. 2018 But throughout this year, another Tesla narrative has arisen, one that originates with the short-sellers who have bedeviled Musk. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Welcome to This Week in Elon," 31 Aug. 2018 The idea for Earth Overshoot Day originated in 1987 with the Global Footprint Network, which is a think tank centered around sustainable practices. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Today Is Earth Overshoot Day and That Is Not a Good Thing," 1 Aug. 2018 The cancer cells, which still spread from dog to dog today, are mutated cells that originated with an ancient dog, its first host, which the study found may have lived as long as 8,225 years ago. Karin Brulliard, Washington Post, "America’s first dogs vanished after Europeans arrived, study finds," 7 July 2018 As an architectural trend, Tudor style homes originated in the United States in the mid-19th century and continued to grow in popularity until World War II. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "There's A Reason You Don't See Many Tudor-Style Homes These Days," 1 Nov. 2018 Other data have suggested that most fast radio bursts originate in an area with weak or disorganized magnetic fields. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "We’ve seen more fast radio bursts, but we still don’t know what they are," 11 Oct. 2018 After working their way inside, firefighters determined that the flames had originated from a pile of debris and then spread beneath the shed's wooden flooring. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Shed fire at Lower 9th Ward wharf caused by vagrants: NOFD," 8 May 2018 Based in part on that finding, the scientists concluded that more than 95 percent of objects like Oumuamua originate in binary star systems — and that Oumuamua was one such object. David Freeman /, NBC News, "'Oumuamua' object likely came from a solar system very different from ours," 20 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'originate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of originate

1668, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about originate

Statistics for originate

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for originate

The first known use of originate was in 1668

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for originate

originate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of originate

: to begin to exist : to be produced or created
: to cause (something) to exist : to produce or create (something)

originate

verb
orig·​i·​nate | \ ə-ˈri-jə-ˌnāt \
originated; originating

Kids Definition of originate

1 : to bring into being : invent, initiate I had lots of time to cook … and I must say I originated some excellent meals.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
2 : to come into being The custom originated in ancient times.

Other Words from originate

originator \ -​ˌnā-​tər \ noun

originate

verb
orig·​i·​nate | \ ə-ˈri-jə-ˌnāt \
originated; originating

Legal Definition of originate

transitive verb

: to give rise to specifically : to issue (a mortgage loan) usually for subsequent sale in a pool of mortgage loans to a secondary market — compare service

intransitive verb

: to take or have origin

Other Words from originate

origination \ ə-​ˌri-​jə-​ˈnā-​shən \ noun
originator \ ə-​ˈri-​jə-​ˌnā-​tər \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on originate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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