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[awr-i-jin, or-] /ˈɔr ɪ dʒɪn, ˈɒr-/
something from which anything arises or is derived; source; fountainhead:
to follow a stream to its origin.
rise or derivation from a particular source:
the origin of a word.
the first stage of existence; beginning:
the origin of Quakerism in America.
ancestry; parentage; extraction:
to be of Scottish origin.
  1. the point of derivation.
  2. the more fixed portion of a muscle.
  1. the point in a Cartesian coordinate system where the axes intersect.
  2. Also called pole. the point from which rays designating specific angles originate and are measured from in a polar coordinate system with no axes.
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin orīgin- (stem of orīgō) beginning, source, lineage, derivative of orīrī to rise; cf. orient
1. root, foundation. 4. birth, lineage, descent.
1. destination, end. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for origins
  • Nursery rimes have all manner of origins, and may be detected in allusions long before they appear whole and unadorned.
  • The muscular fibers may be grouped according to their origins into three parts-sternal, costal, and lumbar.
  • The ducts are lined at their origins by epithelium which differs little from the pavement form.
  • Investigators have thus used these relics to examine the origins of our sun and planets.
  • These insights also stimulated speculations about life's origins.
  • Theories about brain enlargement, or the origins of monogamy, have been bandied about for years.
  • Together with other low income students of all backgrounds, all are reflective of humble origins.
  • But forensics tests raised more questions about its origins than it offered answers.
  • Since country music has its origins in the state, visitors can hear old-time mountain tunes every weekend.
  • The origins of ball lightning continue to elude scientists.
British Dictionary definitions for origins


a primary source; derivation
the beginning of something; first stage or part
(often pl) ancestry or parentage; birth; extraction
  1. the end of a muscle, opposite its point of insertion
  2. the beginning of a nerve or blood vessel or the site where it first starts to branch out
  1. the point of intersection of coordinate axes or planes
  2. the point whose coordinates are all zero See also pole2 (sense 8)
(commerce) the country from which a commodity or product originates: shipment from origin
Word Origin
C16: from French origine, from Latin orīgō beginning, birth, from orīrī to rise, spring from
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
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Word Origin and History for origins



c.1400, "ancestry, race," from Old French origine "origin, race," and directly from Latin originem (nominative origo) "a rise, commencement, beginning, source; descent, lineage, birth," from stem of oriri "to rise, become visible, appear" (see orchestra).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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origins in Medicine

origin or·i·gin (ôr'ə-jĭn)

  1. The point at which something comes into existence or from which it derives or is derived.

  2. The fact of originating; rise or derivation.

  3. The point of attachment of a muscle that remains relatively fixed during contraction.

  4. The starting point of a cranial or spinal nerve.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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origins in Science
The point at which the axes of a Cartesian coordinate system intersect. The coordinates of the origin are (0,0) in two dimensions and (0,0,0) in three dimensions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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