- origin [ôr′ə jin, är′ə jin]n.[ME origyne < MFr origine < L origo (gen. originis) < oriri, to rise: see ORIENT]1. a coming into existence or use; beginning2. parentage; birth; lineage3. that in which something has its beginning; source; root; cause4. Anat. the less movable of the two points of attachment of a muscle, usually the end attached to the more rigid part of the skeleton5. Math.a) in a system of Cartesian coordinates, the point at which the axes intersect; base point where the abscissa and ordinate equal zerob) any zero reference point from which measurement beginsSYN.- ORIGIN is applied to that from which a person or thing has its very beginning [the origin of a word ]; SOURCE is applied to the point or place from which something arises, comes, or develops [the sun is our source of energy ]; BEGINNING is the basic term for a starting point or place [the beginning of a quarrel ]; INCEPTION is specif. applied to the beginning of an undertaking, organization, etc. [Smith headed the business from its inception]; ROOT1 suggests an origin so deep and basic as to be the ultimate cause from which something stems [the root of the matter ]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.