See more 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.
  3. arising or proceeding independently of anything else: an original view of history.
  4. capable of or given to thinking or acting in an independent, creative, or individual manner: an original thinker.
  5. created, undertaken, or presented for the first time: to give the original performance of a string quartet.
  6. 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.
  3. the person or thing represented by a picture, description, etc.: The original is said to have been the painter's own house.
  4. a person whose ways of thinking or acting are original: In a field of brilliant technicians he is a true original.
  5. Archaic. an eccentric person.
  6. Archaic. a source of being; an author or originator.

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

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Antonyms for original

7. copy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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


  1. not fresh and unusual


  1. of or relating to an origin or beginning
  2. fresh and unusual; novel
  3. able to think of or carry out new ideas or concepts
  4. 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
  3. a person whose way of thinking is unusual or creative
  4. an unconventional or strange person
  5. the first form or occurrence of something
  6. 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