Definition of origin in English:



  • 1also originsThe point or place where something begins, arises, or is derived.

    ‘his theory of the origin of life’
    ‘the name is Norse in origin’
    ‘the terminology has its origins in America’
    • ‘The islands are volcanic in origin, having arisen from a mantle hotspot, and they have never been connected to the mainland.’
    • ‘The Foundation has been incorporated in Boston, where America acquired its very first charity - also Scottish in origin - in the late 1600s.’
    • ‘In his original theory of origins, Darwin attempted to explain how physical structures had adaptability advantages.’
    • ‘The Old World producers are exclusively European and, not surprisingly, the whole Old/New World concept is European in origin.’
    • ‘It is still a world of forbidden desires, but an Enlightenment world in which it is acknowledged that the higher authorities, the ones doing the forbidding, are human and not divine in origin.’
    • ‘Khazzoom notes that even when the music is Sephardi or Mizrahi in origin, it is often played by Ashkenazim who know little about the music's origins or meaning.’
    • ‘It's obviously late fifties/early sixties, American in origin without any shadow of a doubt and closer to Phil Spector than Motown in feel, arrangement and production.’
    • ‘So many collectors fall into the trap of buying a ‘Louis XV’ piece that is clearly 19th century in origin and concept.’
    • ‘The outbreak seems to be viral in origin supported in one area by specimen results.’
    • ‘It was regarded by marketing gurus that food coming out of Ireland, be it meat or dairy in origin, had an advantage because of country of origin.’
    • ‘The forces for global change are economic in origin, but they operate within particular political systems and deeply rooted cultures that will modify and condition their effect.’
    • ‘In Ireland and Great Britain, sacred wells derive their distant origins from megalithic and Celtic times.’
    • ‘The origins of the web are highly academic in origin.’
    • ‘Some believe that the astronomical theories are Babylonian in origin, while others argue that the Indians refined the Babylonian models by making observations of their own.’
    • ‘Japan's hot springs are volcanic in origin, Korean hot springs arise from granite underground and have lower temperature than the Japanese hot springs.’
    • ‘Martial arts is a broad term that covers a variety of schools and forms whose unity derives only from their origins in the arts of war and single combat.’
    • ‘The Phantom's origins began in the late 1500's when a merchant vessel was attacked by Singh pirates in the Bay of Bengalla.’
    • ‘I, myself, am Trinidadian in origin, and much prefer the Greek root of my name, ‘Nikolaos,’ meaning victory of the people.’
    • ‘True kebab (also spelled kobob) is Arabic in origin.’
    • ‘His humour is not the same as the equally English humour of Jerome K. Jerome or The Diary of a Nobody, which might be described, without being offensive, as lower middle class in origin.’
    beginning, start, origination, genesis, birth, dawning, dawn, emergence, inception, launch, creation, birthplace, cradle, early stages, conception, inauguration, foundation, outset
    source, derivation, root, roots, provenance, etymology
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    1. 1.1 A person's social background or ancestry.
      ‘a family of peasant origin’
      ‘a voice that betrays his Welsh origins’
      • ‘Born in Dublin and sent to an orphanage, his social origins and date of birth remain obscure.’
      • ‘In background checks individuals were judged less by their social origins than by their current activities.’
      • ‘Children with a positive self-image and who identify with their families may investigate their origins solely for background information.’
      • ‘He emphasized that equality in America also means meritocracy, a stress on equality of opportunity among individuals regardless of social origins.’
      • ‘It not only provides an account of the society which underpinned this success, but is also a very useful source for tracing the social origins of the Dutch nation as it is today.’
      • ‘He said the project would work with young people from different backgrounds and ethnic origins with the youngsters creating their own work at a professional standard.’
      • ‘They surely apply to people of different sexes, different social origins, and perhaps different personal beliefs or psychological dispositions.’
      • ‘Manalito, a native Indian with ancestral origins in Canada, recalls the moment when news of the tsunami first broke.’
      • ‘They were people of all races, religions, ethnicities, and social origins.’
      • ‘Unfortunately it was all too easy in those times for the general public to tar everyone with the same brush, especially those from ethnic backgrounds or origins, irrespective of race, colour or creed.’
      • ‘As I have set out above, the school has for many years taught pupils from a wide variety of ethnic origins, cultural backgrounds and religious faiths.’
      • ‘In terms of social origins, most came from a peasant background, reflecting their rural births.’
      • ‘It is the distinctive items in his diet that communicate not just the man's low social stature but also his specifically rural, peasant origins.’
      • ‘Wright looks back to sixteenth-and seventeenth-century England to explain the social origins of Australia's distinctive pub culture.’
      • ‘The photo was accompanied by a story about the children's origins and backgrounds and details of their adoption by American families.’
      • ‘We also discriminate based on other peoples' race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or social class among ourselves.’
      • ‘They varied greatly in their educational backgrounds, their ethnic origins and their attitudes when they came in to the room to meet the man giving the presentation, and the five of us who were there to watch.’
      • ‘It took years of archeological excavation to trace the origins and ancestry of various races.’
      • ‘In terms of their social and educational origins these producers' backgrounds are broadly middle-class and meritocratic.’
      • ‘The Muslim community in America is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins.’
      descent, ancestry, parentage, pedigree, lineage, line, line of descent, heritage, birth, extraction, background, family, stock, blood, bloodline, genealogy, beginnings
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  • 2Anatomy
    The more fixed end or attachment of a muscle.

    • ‘A simple fascicle of the biceps inserting into the origin of the pronator teres Macalister has seen three times.’
    • ‘The surgical approach is a muscle-splitting approach that does not involve transposition of the ulnar nerve and avoids detachment of the flexor muscle origin.’
    • ‘The insertion of gastrocnemius is discussed following the description of the origin of the soleus muscle.’
    • ‘The tendinous origin of the sartorius muscle is seen in this cut.’
    • ‘It is usually placed on a level above and behind the condyloid origin of flexor carpi ulnaris.’
    • ‘It then exits the cubital tunnel by passing between the two heads of the origin of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.’
    1. 2.1 A place where a nerve or blood vessel begins or branches from a main nerve or blood vessel.
      • ‘Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardial sac surrounding the heart and the origins of the great vessels.’
      • ‘In cases of two cystic arteries, their origins have been reported as follows.’
      • ‘Embryologically, the pituitary gland has 2 origins.’
      • ‘Branches of the anterior and posterior divisions or the internal iliac may exchange origins.’
      • ‘Exceptional origins of esophageal arteries occurred on the right side in 3 specimens.’
  • 3Mathematics
    A fixed point from which coordinates are measured.

    • ‘For example, the equations describing ordinary dynamics do not depend on where the origin of the co-ordinate system is.’
    • ‘Let u and v denote two positions on a chromosome, measured in a scale in morgan units with the coordinate origin at the target locus.’
    • ‘Given ABC, we may assume its vertices lie on a circle centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system.’
    • ‘In fact, from the point P which is at distance d from the origin measured along a radius vector, the distance from P to the pole is d sec b.’
    • ‘Furthermore, it is an immediate consequence of Newton's Laws that the center of gravity of the two bodies can serve as the origin of an inertial coordinate system.’


Early 16th century: from French origine, from Latin origo, origin-, from oriri ‘to rise’.