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

Examples of source in a Sentence

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
Correa’s letter also asked for the city to clarify the source of funds for that $6.5 million, citing a 2022 city document that says Anaheim allocated federal coronavirus assistance dollars to Visit Anaheim. Michael Slaten, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024 Which means oh-so-eminent economist Lawrence Summers will forever be associated with the horrifyingly obtuse view that human beings with wives, husbands and kids must be put out of work by the very governments that are always and everywhere the source of inflation. John Tamny, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024 Under the scheme, detectives say the suspects exploited loopholes in Nike’s distribution system, starting at the source: a main hub in southeast Memphis, the origin of products shipped nationwide by the sportswear giant. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2024 For his latest outing to the upscale restaurant, Patrick was part of a large group celebrating a friend's upcoming wedding, according to the source. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 24 Feb. 2024 But some sources say the matter wasn’t urgent at all, and the warning was instead an attempt by House Intelligence leadership to derail a vote on privacy reforms to a major US surveillance program. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 24 Feb. 2024 Preventing and stopping wildfires, which are a major emission source, is top of mind for me in my district. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Feb. 2024 Local music sources in Korea said that Tri.be had immediately halted their public activities following Lee’s death. Patrick Frater, Variety, 23 Feb. 2024 In October Bezos also bought the property next to his initial home, spending $79 million on the seven-bedroom mansion, with sources familiar with the matter saying the entrepreneur is still open to other purchases in the area. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 13 Feb. 2024
Verb
In between all of the fascinating historic and natural attractions, visitors are certain to discover a diverse dining scene that perfectly encapsulates the vibrant flavors of modern Canada accented with ingredients sourced from across the globe. Jared Ranahan, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Hailing from Sydney, Issy McDermott, 23, also sources her travel ideas mainly from social media. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 26 Feb. 2024 As befits a library bar, the walls are lined with over 4,000 books, almost half of which are about art, sourced by independent book dealer Anatole Desachy. Zoe Dubno, Vogue, 24 Feb. 2024 Beyond the front doors, which were sourced from Hearst Castle, there are coffered ceilings, dramatic archways, several stone fireplaces, and stonework using rocks sourced directly from the property. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 23 Feb. 2024 Using beans sourced from Yemen, Haraz offers a variety of espresso coffee drinks, from Western-style lattes to drinks infused with cardamom, ginger, cinnamon or saffron — and not just in Michigan. Kate Bradshaw, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 The last decade has seen a steady string of reports about companies re-shoring, friend-shoring, de-risking and otherwise unwinding the globalization of the late 20th century, when companies sourced supply from the lowest global bidder. Alan Murray, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 Customers who pay for Duke Energy to source their electricity, not just deliver it, felt this change over the past few months. Erin Mansfield, The Enquirer, 18 Feb. 2024 Abattoirs and meat-processing plants were particularly hit, but, of course, this had a knock-on effect on butchers’ abilities to source and provide meat. Olivia Potts, Longreads, 15 Feb. 2024
Adjective
Modern orchestration software, along with a multi-source strategy—which lends itself to multiple clouds—can allow enterprises to get the most value out of their data. Quentin Clark, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 Our allergen-friendly Plant Protein Powder is a premium quality, multi-source plant protein blend that contains 20g of protein per serving. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Dec. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'source.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 1 Mar. 2024.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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