\ ˈsȯrs How to pronounce source (audio) \

Definition of source

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
2a : 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


sourced; sourcing

Definition of source (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

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



Definition of source (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being source code a source file

Other Words from source


sourceless \ ˈsȯrs-​ləs How to pronounce source (audio) \ adjective

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 According to her source and some curious internet searching on my part, hanging toilet paper over encourages you to use more than hanging it under. Sheena Chihak, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 July 2022 Each of these wines is matured in large casks and beautifully reflect their source; there is outstanding complexity with the single vineyard wines, as well as round, elegantly styled tannins. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 25 July 2022 Nearly half of consistent conservatives (47%) name it as their main source for government and political news, as do almost a third (31%) of those with mostly conservative views. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 Starting in the Bavarian town of Fussen, this nine-day route follows the Lechweg river to its source in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Joe Minihane, CNN, 25 July 2022 But the attacker eventually resumed funneling the money into Tornado Cash in an apparent bid to obscure its source. David Uberti, WSJ, 25 July 2022 That means this wholesome dish contains very little fat from your protein source. Robin Miller, USA TODAY, 25 July 2022 Bread has long been a staple in our diets and rightly so since carbohydrates are our main source of energy. Amy Fischer Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, 25 July 2022 These statistics have motivated her to bring other Black women into agriculture to find their own source of healing and freedom. Maya Eaglin, NBC News, 23 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Manufacturers such as Ford are seeing record levels of demand, but are now scrambling to source the appropriate materials—namely, lithium-ion batteries. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 3 July 2022 Continuously monitor the quality, safety and consistency of the products you source, serve and sell. Jim Hardeman, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Ex-NFL player Malcolm Jenkins is working to further diversity and inclusivity in the whiskey world with his new venture, which will source ingredients exclusively from Black and brown farmers. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 6 July 2022 Among vines, pipevine and maypops (purple passionflower) are hosts, but also sometimes hard to source. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun, 13 Apr. 2022 She is expected to reinstate tariff exceptions for US companies that can only source materials from China, which had expired. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Tevva is working with several innovative hydrogen suppliers, including Scottish Power, to source low-cost green hydrogen for its customers. David Blekhman, Forbes, 6 July 2022 The Movement relies on a group of advisors called guides to source content and relationships, including community leaders T. Marie King and Elijah Davis, as well as BCRI educators and historians Barry McNealy and Charles Woods. al, 5 July 2022 To source potential suitors, Ms. Bush Hager contacted her fraternal twin sister, Barbara, and two friends. New York Times, 1 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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.

First Known Use of source


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


1957, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for source


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

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Time Traveler for source

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Source.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for source


\ ˈsȯrs How to pronounce source (audio) \

Kids Definition of source

1 : a cause or starting point the source of a rumor
2 : the beginning of a stream of water the source of the Nile River
3 : someone or something that supplies information a reference source
4 : someone or something that provides what is needed a source of supplies a source of strength



Legal Definition of source

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

Nglish: Translation of source for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of source for Arabic Speakers


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