Origin of original

1300–50; Middle English < Latin orīginālis (adj.) and Medieval Latin orīgināle original document (noun use of neuter adj.), equivalent to orīgin- (see origin) + -ālis -al1
Related formsnon·o·rig·i·nal, adjective, nounnon·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverbpre·o·rig·i·nal, adjectivepre·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverbqua·si-o·rig·i·nal, adjectivequa·si-o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverbun·o·rig·i·nal, adjectiveun·o·rig·i·nal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for original

Antonyms for original

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

Examples from the Web for unoriginal

Contemporary Examples of unoriginal

Historical Examples of unoriginal

  • It is as easy to be unoriginal as it is hard at times to be original.

    Parkhurst Boys

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • The advertising writer is the most unoriginal creature imaginable.


    Simeon Strunsky

  • Yet one would be loath to approve his arguments, unoriginal as they are.

  • And so on—respectable answers, unoriginal but having the sanction of history, of just and generous minds.

  • But the style of most of them is unoriginal, being merely an echo of that of the English Lake School.

    John Greenleaf Whittier

    W. Sloane Kennedy

British Dictionary definitions for unoriginal



not fresh and unusual



of or relating to an origin or beginning
fresh and unusual; novel
able to think of or carry out new ideas or concepts
being that from which a copy, translation, etc, is made


the first and genuine form of something, from which others are derived
a person or thing used as a model in art or literature
a person whose way of thinking is unusual or creative
an unconventional or strange person
the first form or occurrence of something
an archaic word for originatorSee 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

Word Origin and History for unoriginal

1660s, "having no origin, uncreated," from un- (1) "not" + original (adj.). Meaning "derivative, second-hand" is recorded from 1774.



"original text," late 14c., from Medieval Latin originale (see original (adj.)). Of photographs, films, sound recordings, etc., from 1918.



early 14c., "first in time, earliest," from Old French original "first" (13c.) and directly from Latin originalis, from originem (nominative origo) "beginning, source, birth," from oriri "to rise" (see orchestra). The first reference is in original sin "innate depravity of man's nature," supposed to be inherited from Adam in consequence of the Fall. Related: Originally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper