Synonyms of source

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a point or place at which something is invented or provided
  • we were uncertain as to the source of the rumors
  • a source of inspiration

Synonyms for source

Words Related to source

2 the beginning part of a stream
  • 19th-century explorers who sought the source of the Nile

Synonyms for source

Words Related to source

3 something mentioned in a text as providing related and especially supporting information
  • the professor asked the students to have at least five different sources for their papers

Synonyms for source

Words Related to source



Synonyms of source (Entry 2 of 2)

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About source

How is the word source distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of source are inception, origin, and root. While all these words mean "the point at which something begins its course or existence," source applies more often to the point where something springs into being.

the source of the Nile

the source of recurrent trouble

When is inception a more appropriate choice than source?

While in some cases nearly identical to source, inception stresses the beginning of something without implying causes.

the business has been a success since its inception

When is it sensible to use origin instead of source?

The words origin and source are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When can root be used instead of source?

While the synonyms root and source are close in meaning, root suggests a first, ultimate, or fundamental source often not easily discerned.

the real root of the violence

Learn More About source

Time Traveler for source

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near source




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Source.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on source

Nglish: Translation of source for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of source for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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