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 (ôr′ə-jĭn, ŏr′-)
1. The point at which something comes into existence or from which it derives or is derived.
2. often origins Ancestry: "We cannot escape our origins, however hard we try" (James Baldwin).
3. The fact of originating; rise or derivation: The rumor had its origin in an impulsive remark.
4. Anatomy The point of attachment of a muscle that remains relatively fixed during contraction.
5. Mathematics The point of intersection of coordinate axes, as in the Cartesian coordinate system.

[Middle English origine, ancestry, from Latin orīgō, orīgin-, from orīrī, to arise, be born; see er- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: origin, inception, source, root1
These nouns signify the point at which something originates. Origin is the point at which something comes into existence: The origins of some words are unknown. When origin refers to people, it means parentage or ancestry: "He came ... of mixed French and Scottish origin" (Charlotte Brontë).
Inception is the beginning, as of an action or process: The researcher was involved in the project from its inception. Source signifies the point at which something springs into being or from which it derives or is obtained: "The mysterious ... is the source of all true art and science" (Albert Einstein).
Root denotes what is considered the fundamental cause of or basic reason for something: "Lack of money is the root of all evil" (George Bernard Shaw).


etiology. — aetiological, adj.
the study of human origins. — anthropogenic, anthropogenetic adj.
the science of origins.
the state of being aboriginal or native to a particular area. — autochthonous, adj.
the study of the causes for and origin of any phenomena. Also spelled aetiology.etiological, adj.
the state or process of deriving from the same source or origins, as different parts deriving from the same embryo tissues. — isogenic, isogenetic, adj.
the theory that the entire human race is descended from a single ancestral pair. Also monogenesis, monogeny.monogenist, n.monogenistic, adj.
ætterni, rætur


(ˈoridʒin) noun
the place or point from which anything first comes; the cause. the origin(s) of the English language; the origin of the disagreement.
oˈriginal (əˈri-) adjective
1. existing at the beginning; first. This part of the house is new but the rest is original.
2. (able to produce ideas which are) new, fresh or not thought of before. original ideas; He has a very original mind.
3. (of a painting etc) by the artist etc, from which copies may be made. The original painting is in the museum, but there are hundreds of copies.
1. the earliest version. This is the original – all the others are copies.
2. a model from which a painting etc is made. She is the original of the famous portrait.
oˌrigiˈnality (əridʒiˈnӕ-) noun
His writing shows originality.
oˈriginally adverb
originate (əˈridʒineit) verb
to bring or come into being. That style of painting originated in China.
ˈorigins noun plural
a person's place of birth, family background etc. He tried to hide his origins.
References in classic literature ?
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share: we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends.
As this class of functionaries will continually recur in the course of the following narrations, and as they form one of those distinct and strongly marked castes or orders of people, springing up in this vast continent out of geographical circumstances, or the varied pursuits, habitudes, and origins of its population, we shall sketch a few of their characteristics for the information of the reader.
I am aware that you are very much younger, but the similitudes of opinions, origins and perhaps at bottom, faintly, of character, of chivalrous devotion - no, you must be able to understand him in a measure.
Slowly her mind became less confused and sought the origins of her exaltation, which were twofold and could be limited by an effort to the persons of Mr.
A full discussion of the questions of ballad origins and the like is to be found in the 'Cambridge' edition (Houghton Mifflin) of the ballads, edited by Sargent and Kittredge.
The father de Barral whatever his origins retired from the Customs Service (tide-waiter I think), and started lending money in a very, very small way in the East End to people connected with the docks, stevedores, minor barge-owners, ship-chandlers, tally clerks, all sorts of very small fry.
Nothing solid had passed his lips since the day before, but he was not in a state to analyse the origins of his weakness.
It is generally believed that the Aborigines of the American continent have an Asiatic origin.
for at that time, and indeed until a comparatively late day, the precise origin of ambergris remained, like amber itself, a problem to the learned.
Of the first, those that had an humble origin and rose to the greatness they still preserve, the Ottoman house may serve as an example, which from an humble and lowly shepherd, its founder, has reached the height at which we now see it.
The idea of restraining the legislative authority, in the means of providing for the national defense, is one of those refinements which owe their origin to a zeal for liberty more ardent than enlightened.
It was in old days, with our learned men, an interesting and oft-investigated question, "What is the origin of light?

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