[sawrs, sohrs]
See more synonyms for source on
  1. any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained; origin: Which foods are sources of calcium?
  2. the beginning or place of origin of a stream or river.
  3. a book, statement, person, etc., supplying information.
  4. the person or business making interest or dividend payments.
  5. a manufacturer or supplier.
  6. Archaic. a natural spring or fountain.
verb (used with object), sourced, sourcing.
  1. to give or trace the source for: The research paper was not accurately sourced. The statement was sourced to the secretary of state.
  2. 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.
  1. to contract a manufacturer or supplier: Many large companies are now sourcing overseas.
  2. 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 formssource·ful, adjectivesource·ful·ness, nounsource·less, adjective
Can be confusedsauce source

Synonyms for source

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for source

Contemporary Examples of source

Historical Examples of source

  • Williams and Lawson had, as Hardy predicted, been a source of great annoyance to George.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • The main question is as to the source from which an increase of life is to be obtained.

  • "Streams may spring from one source, and yet some be clear and some be foul," quoth she quickly.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • It was rather a frightful place to go into in search of the source of a shriek.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • So simply he made provision against any alarm from this source.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for source


  1. 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 risethe source of the Nile
  2. a person, group, etc, that creates, issues, or originates somethingthe source of a complaint
    1. any person, book, organization, etc, from which information, evidence, etc, is obtained
    2. (as modifier)source material
  3. anything, such as a story or work of art, that provides a model or inspiration for a later work
  4. electronics the electrode region in a field-effect transistor from which majority carriers flow into the interelectrode conductivity channel
  5. at source at the point of origin
  1. to determine the source of a news report or story
  2. (tr foll by from) to originate from
  3. (tr) to establish an originator or source of (a product, piece of information, etc)

Word Origin for source

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

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