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[awr-i-jin, or-] /ˈɔr ɪ dʒɪn, ˈɒr-/
something from which anything arises or is derived; source; fountainhead:
to follow a stream to its origin.
rise or derivation from a particular source:
the origin of a word.
the first stage of existence; beginning:
the origin of Quakerism in America.
ancestry; parentage; extraction:
to be of Scottish origin.
  1. the point of derivation.
  2. the more fixed portion of a muscle.
  1. the point in a Cartesian coordinate system where the axes intersect.
  2. Also called pole. the point from which rays designating specific angles originate and are measured from in a polar coordinate system with no axes.
Origin of origin
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin orīgin- (stem of orīgō) beginning, source, lineage, derivative of orīrī to rise; cf. orient
1. root, foundation. 4. birth, lineage, descent.
1. destination, end. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for origin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I am not answerable for offences which have their origin in the eyes of the multitude.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • We see that the puzzle about identity proves at last to be of Grecian origin.

  • The trout-fly settled all doubts in my mind as to his origin and his identity.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Here we trace the origin of the infelicity of this religious household.

  • Fanny betrayed in her face the Italian origin of her father.

    Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for origin


a primary source; derivation
the beginning of something; first stage or part
(often pl) ancestry or parentage; birth; extraction
  1. the end of a muscle, opposite its point of insertion
  2. the beginning of a nerve or blood vessel or the site where it first starts to branch out
  1. the point of intersection of coordinate axes or planes
  2. the point whose coordinates are all zero See also pole2 (sense 8)
(commerce) the country from which a commodity or product originates: shipment from origin
Word Origin
C16: from French origine, from Latin orīgō beginning, birth, from orīrī to rise, spring from
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for origin

c.1400, "ancestry, race," from Old French origine "origin, race," and directly from Latin originem (nominative origo) "a rise, commencement, beginning, source; descent, lineage, birth," from stem of oriri "to rise, become visible, appear" (see orchestra).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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origin in Medicine

origin or·i·gin (ôr'ə-jĭn)

  1. The point at which something comes into existence or from which it derives or is derived.

  2. The fact of originating; rise or derivation.

  3. The point of attachment of a muscle that remains relatively fixed during contraction.

  4. The starting point of a cranial or spinal nerve.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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origin in Science
The point at which the axes of a Cartesian coordinate system intersect. The coordinates of the origin are (0,0) in two dimensions and (0,0,0) in three dimensions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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