[ sawrs, sohrs ]
See synonyms for: sourcesourcedsources 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.

  1. a book, statement, person, etc., supplying information.

  2. the person or business making interest or dividend payments.

  3. a manufacturer or supplier.

  4. 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

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English sours (noun), from Old French sors (masculine), sourse, source (feminine), noun use of past participle of sourdre, from Latin surgere “to spring up or forth”; cf. surge

Other words for source

Other words from source

  • sourceful, adjective
  • source·ful·ness, noun
  • sourceless, adjective

Words that may be confused with source Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for source


/ (sɔːs) /

  1. the point or place from which something originates

    • a spring that forms the starting point of a stream; headspring

    • the area where the headwaters of a river rise: the source of the Nile

  1. a person, group, etc, that creates, issues, or originates something: the source of a complaint

    • any person, book, organization, etc, from which information, evidence, etc, is obtained

    • (as modifier): source material

  2. anything, such as a story or work of art, that provides a model or inspiration for a later work

  3. electronics the electrode region in a field-effect transistor from which majority carriers flow into the interelectrode conductivity channel

  4. 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

  1. (tr) to establish an originator or source of (a product, piece of information, etc)

Origin of 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