Synonyms & Antonyms of origin

1 a point or place at which something is invented or provided
  • the origins of human language remain a matter of considerable debate

Synonyms for origin

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2 the source from which something grows or develops
  • the origin of the tradition of giving presents at Christmastime

Synonyms for origin

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3 the line of ancestors from whom a person is descended
  • they could trace their origins back 15 generations

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Frequently Asked Questions About origin

How is the word origin distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of origin are inception, root, and source. While all these words 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

In what contexts can inception take the place of origin?

Although the words inception and origin have much in common, inception stresses the beginning of something without implying causes.

the business has been a success since its inception

When might root be a better fit than origin?

While in some cases nearly identical to origin, root suggests a first, ultimate, or fundamental source often not easily discerned.

the real root of the violence

When is source a more appropriate choice than origin?

The meanings of source and origin largely overlap; however, source applies more often to the point where something springs into being.

the source of the Nile

the source of recurrent trouble

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Time Traveler for origin

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The first known use of origin was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Origin.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on origin

Dictionary: Definition of origin

Medical Dictionary: Definition of origin

Nglish: Translation of origin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of origin for Arabic Speakers

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