the quality or state of being original.
ability to think or express oneself in an independent and individual manner; creative ability.
freshness or novelty, as of an idea, method, or performance.

Origin of originality

From the French word originalité, dating back to 1735–45. See original, -ity
Related formsun·o·rig·i·nal·i·ty, noun

Synonyms for originality

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for originality

Contemporary Examples of originality

Historical Examples of originality

  • His motives for this stroke of originality were difficult to discover.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • This 'consolation stakes' is regarded as a better test of originality than the tripos.

  • His originality as an inventor has indeed been called in question, like that of Watt and Stephenson.


    Samuel Smiles

  • This savours of originality, at least, and is just as insipid, if not more.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Yet the greater merit of the work is not the admirable art, but the originality of thought.

British Dictionary definitions for originality


noun plural -ties

the quality or condition of being original
the ability to create or innovate
something original
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

Word Origin and History for originality

1742, from original (adj.) + -ity. Probably after French originalité (1690s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper