[ uh-rij-uh-nl ]
See synonyms for original on Thesaurus.com
  1. belonging or pertaining to the origin or beginning of something, or to a thing at its beginning: The book still has its original binding.

  2. new; fresh; inventive; novel: an original way of advertising.

  1. arising or proceeding independently of anything else: an original view of history.

  2. capable of or given to thinking or acting in an independent, creative, or individual manner: an original thinker.

  3. created, undertaken, or presented for the first time: to give the original performance of a string quartet.

  4. being something from which a copy, a translation, or the like is made: The original document is in Washington.

  1. a primary form or type from which varieties are derived.

  2. an original work, writing, or the like, as opposed to any copy or imitation: The original of this is in the British Museum.

  1. the person or thing represented by a picture, description, etc.: The original is said to have been the painter's own house.

  2. a person whose ways of thinking or acting are original: In a field of brilliant technicians he is a true original.

  3. Archaic. an eccentric person.

  4. Archaic. a source of being; an author or originator.

Origin of original

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Latin orīginālis (adjective) and Medieval Latin orīgināle “original document” (noun use of neuter adjective), equivalent to orīgin- “beginning, source” + -ālis adjective suffix; see origin, -al1

word story For original

English original comes from Anglo-French and Middle French from Old French originel “innate, by birth, by nature.” (The 14th-century term original sin “the innate human tendency to evil” is a translation from the phrase in Old French.) The French forms come from the Latin adjective orīginālis “existing at or marking the beginning,” and in Late Latin meaning “primitive.”
Orīginālis is a derivative of the noun orīgō (inflectional stem orīgin- ) “beginning, first appearance, starting point.” Orīgō is a compound whose main element is the verb orīrī “(of the sun or moon) to rise, get out of bed, begin (an activity), sprout, spring up.” The present participle of orīrī is oriēns (inflectional stem orient- ) “the rising sun, daybreak, the east,” and is the ultimate source of English orient.
The earliest sense of original was “belonging or pertaining to the origin or beginning of something”; the meaning “new, inventive, novel” dates from the mid-18th century.

Other words for original

Opposites for original

Other words from original

  • non·o·rig·i·nal, adjective, noun
  • non·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverb
  • pre·o·rig·i·nal, adjective
  • pre·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-o·rig·i·nal, adjective
  • qua·si-o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverb
  • un·o·rig·i·nal, adjective
  • un·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby original

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use original in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for original


/ (əˈrɪdʒɪnəl) /

  1. of or relating to an origin or beginning

  2. fresh and unusual; novel

  1. able to think of or carry out new ideas or concepts

  2. being that from which a copy, translation, etc, is made

  1. the first and genuine form of something, from which others are derived

  2. a person or thing used as a model in art or literature

  1. a person whose way of thinking is unusual or creative

  2. an unconventional or strange person

  3. the first form or occurrence of something

  4. an archaic word for originator: See originator

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