Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “original”

See all translations

original

adjective uk   /əˈrɪdʒ.ɪ.nəl/ us  

original adjective (FIRST MADE)

B1 [usually before noun] existing since the beginning, or being the earliest form of something: Is this the original fireplace? The gardens have recently been restored to their original glory.B2 [usually before noun] An original piece of work, such as a painting, etc. is produced by the artist and not a copy: an original drawing/manuscript Is this an original Rembrandt? (= Was it painted by him?)
More examples

original adjective (DIFFERENT)

B1 approving not the same as anything or anyone else and therefore special and interesting: original ideas/suggestions/work She's a highly original young designer.
Opposite

original

noun [C] uk   /əˈrɪdʒ.ɪ.nəl/ us  
B2 the first one made and not a copy: Can you let me have the original of your report? I can't read this photocopy.B2 a piece of work by a famous artist or designer and not a copy by someone else: If the painting is an original, it will be very valuable.in the original If you read something in the original, you read it in the language in which it was first written.
More examples
(Definition of original from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of original?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “original” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More