Definition of origin in English:



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

    ‘a novel theory about the origin of oil’
    ‘the name is Norse in origin’
    ‘the terminology has its origins in America’
    • ‘The origins of the web are highly academic in origin.’
    • ‘The Old World producers are exclusively European and, not surprisingly, the whole Old/New World concept is European 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.’
    • ‘True kebab (also spelled kobob) is Arabic in origin.’
    • ‘The outbreak seems to be viral in origin supported in one area by specimen results.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Ireland and Great Britain, sacred wells derive their distant origins from megalithic and Celtic times.’
    • ‘So many collectors fall into the trap of buying a ‘Louis XV’ piece that is clearly 19th century in origin and concept.’
    • ‘The Phantom's origins began in the late 1500's when a merchant vessel was attacked by Singh pirates in the Bay of Bengalla.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Japan's hot springs are volcanic in origin, Korean hot springs arise from granite underground and have lower temperature than the Japanese hot springs.’
    • ‘In his original theory of origins, Darwin attempted to explain how physical structures had adaptability advantages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I, myself, am Trinidadian in origin, and much prefer the Greek root of my name, ‘Nikolaos,’ meaning victory of the people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person's social background or ancestry.
      ‘they will be asked about their ethnic origin’
      ‘a voice that betrays his Southern origins’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Wright looks back to sixteenth-and seventeenth-century England to explain the social origins of Australia's distinctive pub culture.’
      • ‘The Muslim community in America is made up of people from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and national origins.’
      • ‘Children with a positive self-image and who identify with their families may investigate their origins solely for background information.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In terms of social origins, most came from a peasant background, reflecting their rural births.’
      • ‘He emphasized that equality in America also means meritocracy, a stress on equality of opportunity among individuals regardless of social origins.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In background checks individuals were judged less by their social origins than by their current activities.’
      • ‘We also discriminate based on other peoples' race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or social class among ourselves.’
      • ‘They surely apply to people of different sexes, different social origins, and perhaps different personal beliefs or psychological dispositions.’
      • ‘They were people of all races, religions, ethnicities, and social origins.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Born in Dublin and sent to an orphanage, his social origins and date of birth remain obscure.’
      • ‘It took years of archeological excavation to trace the origins and ancestry of various races.’
      • ‘The photo was accompanied by a story about the children's origins and backgrounds and details of their adoption by American families.’
      • ‘In terms of their social and educational origins these producers' backgrounds are broadly middle-class and meritocratic.’
      • ‘Manalito, a native Indian with ancestral origins in Canada, recalls the moment when news of the tsunami first broke.’
      • ‘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.’
      descent, ancestry, parentage, pedigree, lineage, line, line of descent, heritage, birth, extraction, background, family, stock, blood, bloodline, genealogy, beginnings
      View synonyms
  • 2Anatomy
    The place or point where a muscle, nerve, or other body part arises, in particular.

    1. 2.1The more fixed end or attachment of a muscle.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is usually placed on a level above and behind the condyloid origin of flexor carpi ulnaris.’
      • ‘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 then exits the cubital tunnel by passing between the two heads of the origin of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle.’
      • ‘A simple fascicle of the biceps inserting into the origin of the pronator teres Macalister has seen three times.’
    2. 2.2A place where a nerve or blood vessel begins or branches from a main nerve or blood vessel.
      • ‘Embryologically, the pituitary gland has 2 origins.’
      • ‘In cases of two cystic arteries, their origins have been reported as follows.’
      • ‘Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardial sac surrounding the heart and the origins of the great vessels.’
      • ‘Exceptional origins of esophageal arteries occurred on the right side in 3 specimens.’
      • ‘Branches of the anterior and posterior divisions or the internal iliac may exchange origins.’
  • 3Mathematics
    A fixed point from which coordinates are measured, as where axes intersect.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Given ABC, we may assume its vertices lie on a circle centered at the origin of a Cartesian coordinate system.’


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