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[sawrs, sohrs] /sɔrs, soʊrs/
any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained; origin:
Which foods are sources of calcium?
the beginning or place of origin of a stream or river.
a book, statement, person, etc., supplying information.
the person or business making interest or dividend payments.
a manufacturer or supplier.
Archaic. a natural spring or fountain.
verb (used with object), sourced, sourcing.
to give or trace the source for:
The research paper was not accurately sourced. The statement was sourced to the secretary of state.
to find or acquire a source, especially a supplier, for:
Some of the components are now sourced in Hong Kong.
verb (used without object), sourced, sourcing.
to contract a manufacturer or supplier:
Many large companies are now sourcing overseas.
to seek information about or consider possible options, available personnel, or the like:
a job recruiter who was merely sourcing.
Origin of source
1300-50; Middle English sours (noun) < Old French sors (masculine), sourse, source (feminine), noun use of past participle of sourdre < Latin surgere to spring up or forth
Related forms
sourceful, adjective
sourcefulness, noun
sourceless, adjective
Can be confused
sauce, source.
1. supplier, originator. 3. authority, reference. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for source
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This matter is no longer the source of an additional form of existence.

  • Every advance in the work seemed to bring him nearer to the source of the happiness he felt.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Sin, as such, has always been a source of confusion, not of progress.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • We all went down to supper except a hand to notify us of danger from any source.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • This made him a nuisance, and a source of endless trouble in the family.

    The Jungle Upton Sinclair
British Dictionary definitions for source


the point or place from which something originates
  1. a spring that forms the starting point of a stream; headspring
  2. the area where the headwaters of a river rise: the source of the Nile
a person, group, etc, that creates, issues, or originates something: the source of a complaint
  1. any person, book, organization, etc, from which information, evidence, etc, is obtained
  2. (as modifier): source material
anything, such as a story or work of art, that provides a model or inspiration for a later work
(electronics) the electrode region in a field-effect transistor from which majority carriers flow into the interelectrode conductivity channel
at source, at the point of origin
to determine the source of a news report or story
(transitive) foll by from. to originate from
(transitive) to establish an originator or source of (a product, piece of information, etc)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French sors, from sourdre to spring forth, from Latin surgere to rise
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 source

mid-14c., "support, base," from Old French sourse "a rising, beginning, fountainhead of a river or stream" (12c.), fem. noun taken from past participle of sourdre "to rise, spring up," from Latin surgere "to rise" (see surge (n.)). Meaning "a first cause" is from late 14c., as is that of "fountain-head of a river." Meaning "written work (later also a person) supplying information or evidence" is from 1788.


"obtain from a specified source," 1972, from source (n.). Related: Sourced; sourcing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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source in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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