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origin Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the place where something begins, where it springs into being
    root; beginning; rootage; source.
    • the Italian beginning of the Renaissance
    • Jupiter was the origin of the radiation
    • Pittsburgh is the source of the Ohio River
    • communism's Russian root
  2. noun properties attributable to your ancestry
    extraction; descent.
    • he comes from good origins
  3. noun an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events
    inception; origination.
  4. noun the point of intersection of coordinate axes; where the values of the coordinates are all zero
  5. noun the source of something's existence or from which it derives or is derived
    • the rumor had its origin in idle gossip
    • vegetable origins
    • mineral origin
    • origin in sensation
  6. noun the descendants of one individual
    lineage; pedigree; parentage; descent; bloodline; ancestry; stemma; blood; line; stock; line of descent; blood line.
    • his entire lineage has been warriors

Or"i*gin noun
F. origine, L. origo, -iginis, fr. oriri to rise, become visible; akin to Gr. to stir up, rouse, Skr. r, and perh. to E. run.
  1. The first existence or beginning of anything; the birth.
    This mixed system of opinion and sentiment had its origin in the ancient chivalry. Burke.
  2. That from which anything primarily proceeds; the fountain; the spring; the cause; the occasion.
  3. (Anat.) The point of attachment or end of a muscle which is fixed during contraction; -- in contradistinction to insertion. Syn. -- Commencement; rise; source; spring; fountain; derivation; cause; root; foundation. -- Origin, Source. Origin denotes the rise or commencement of a thing; source presents itself under the image of a fountain flowing forth in a continuous stream of influences. The origin of moral evil has been much disputed, but no one can doubt that it is the source of most of the calamities of our race.
    I think he would have set out just as he did, with the origin of ideas -- the proper starting point of a grammarian, who is to treat of their signs. Tooke.
    Famous Greece, That source of art and cultivated thought Which they to Rome, and Romans hither, brought. Waller.

Webster 1913