source

1 of 3

noun

1
a
: a generative force : cause
b(1)
: a point of origin or procurement : beginning
(2)
: one that initiates : author
also : prototype, model
(3)
: one that supplies information
2
a
: the point of origin of a stream of water : fountainhead
b
archaic : spring, fount
3
: a firsthand document or primary reference work
4
: an electrode in a field-effect transistor that supplies the charge carriers for current flow compare drain, gate
sourceless adjective

source

2 of 3

verb

sourced; sourcing

transitive verb

1
: to specify the source of (something, such as quoted material)
2
: to obtain from a source
metals sourced from abroad

source

3 of 3

adjective

: of, relating to, or being source code
a source file
Choose the Right Synonym for source

origin, source, inception, root mean the point at which something begins its course or existence.

origin applies to the things or persons from which something is ultimately derived and often to the causes operating before the thing itself comes into being.

an investigation into the origin of baseball

source applies more often to the point where something springs into being.

the source of the Nile
the source of recurrent trouble

inception stresses the beginning of something without implying causes.

the business has been a success since its inception

root suggests a first, ultimate, or fundamental source often not easily discerned.

the real root of the violence

Example Sentences

Noun The college had its own power source. She has been a great source of strength to me. His job is the family's main source of income. A government source spoke to the press today. The reporter has refused to reveal his sources. According to one source, the program will not cost a lot. information from various intelligence sources See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Unrest at one of China’s biggest manufacturing centers may cause a production shortfall this year of possibly 6 million iPhone Pros, according to a source cited by Bloomberg. James Willhite, WSJ, 28 Nov. 2022 According to a source, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Chris Smith, BGR, 24 Nov. 2022 Kendall Jenner and Devin Booker have split up for the second time, according to a source talking to Entertainment Tonight. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 23 Nov. 2022 The firm will launch a private wealth management service in January, opening the door to invest the personal funds of business executives, according to a source. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2022 According to an industry source, the Giants have checked in on Cody Bellinger, who was non-tendered by the Dodgers last week, as well as Brandon Nimmo, who compiled a 5.1 WAR with the Mets last season. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Nov. 2022 Unsubstantiated rumors swirled as to the severity of his injury, which does not involve any broken bones or knee ligament damage, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2022 Carlos Rodón, one of the top starting pitchers on the free agent market, isn't a Red Sox target, according to a league source. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Nov. 2022 On Friday, the Tigers claimed outfielder Bligh Madris off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 19 Nov. 2022
Verb
Semiconductors required for microcontroller units have been among the hardest to source and command the most eye-watering prices, reporting by Bloomberg found. Bybloomberg, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 Still, the company will also need to source plenty of new material for its cathodes, just like battery makers everywhere. WIRED, 14 Oct. 2022 Businesses need to source smarter, not harder and can start with these quick tips: • Incorporate second markets as part of your organization’s ongoing sourcing process. Jamil Rahman, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 In 2023 and beyond, Europe will try to—will have to—source its energy imports from elsewhere, which will put it in direct competition with other countries and result in a bidding war for resources. Suriya Jayanti, Time, 31 Oct. 2022 Both Russia and Ukraine are struggling to source artillery shells for Soviet-era weapons, with North Korea among the few places that still has a supply. Adela Suliman And John Hudson, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Sep. 2022 There’s usually an airline rep at the airport; if not, source their contact information and call. Lea Lane, Forbes, 26 Aug. 2022 Misfits works directly with farmers and food producers to source its products, helping cut down on food waste and keeping costs low. Stefani Sassos, M.s., R.d.n., C.s.o., C.d.n., Good Housekeeping, 1 Nov. 2022 Imports to Russia had halved between when the war broke out and last summer, with Russian companies unable to source critical items including semiconductor chips and auto and plane parts. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2022
Adjective
For example, throughout Daughter there’s persistent use of non-source music, (a theme from Bela Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta). Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2022 Having a multi-source strategy in place and several suppliers supporting the same supply base in different regions is always a smart move. Mahesh Nandyala, Forbes, 25 July 2022 The journey towards this new initiative was filled with legal and political drama, though the ultimate result codifies the multi-cloud, multi-source strategy. Emil Sayegh, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 Survey results show that 73% of respondents are likely to co-source critical activities with the next 24 months. Rose Celestin, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English sours, from Anglo-French surse spring, source, from past participle of surdre to rise, spring forth, from Latin surgere — more at surge

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of source was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near source

Cite this Entry

“Source.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/source. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

source

noun
ˈsō(ə)rs,
ˈsȯ(ə)rs
1
a
: a force that gives rise to something : cause
a source of strength
b
: a point where something begins
c
: a person or a publication that supplies information
2
: the beginning of a stream of water
the source of the Nile
3
: a firsthand document or main reference work

Legal Definition

source

noun
1
: a point of origin
the source of the conflict
2
: one that supplies information
a journalist's source

More from Merriam-Webster on source

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