Definition of “origin” - English Dictionary

“origin” in British English

See all translations

originnoun

uk /ˈɒr.ɪ.dʒɪn/ us /ˈɔːr.ə.dʒɪn/

B2 [ C ] also origins the beginning or cause of something:

It's a book about the origin of the universe.
Her unhappy childhood was the origin of her problems later in life.
What's the origin of this saying? (= Where did it come from?)
origins [ plural ]

used to describe the particular way in which something started to exist or someone started their life:

The story has obscure origins (= no one knows how it started).
The president's family was of humble origins (= they were poor people without a good position in society).

C1 [ U ] where a person was born:

He is of North African origin.
What is your country of origin?

B2 [ U ] where an object was made:

The furniture was French in origin.

More examples

[ C ] specialized medical the end of a muscle attached to the bone that does not move when the muscle is used

(Definition of “origin” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“origin” in American English

See all translations

originnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈɔr·ə·dʒɪn, ˈɑr-/

the thing from which something comes, or the place where it began:

[ C ] the origins of language
[ U ] He studied the origin and development of the nervous system.

A person’s origin is the country from which the person comes:

[ U ] The population is of Indian or Pakistani origin.

mathematics The origin is the zero point on a number line (= drawing that represents all the numbers that exist), or the point where the horizontal and vertical lines on a graph (= drawing) cross.

originator
noun [ C ] us /əˈrɪdʒ·əˌneɪ·t̬ər/

Morton was the originator of Arbor Day.

(Definition of “origin” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“origin” in Business English

See all translations

originnoun

uk /ˈɒrɪdʒɪn/ us

[ C ] also origins [ plural ] the beginning or cause of something:

The origins of this practice date back to the time of the Depression.
Whether entrepreneurs are self-employed or working as employees, they are often at the origin of radical innovations.

[ U ] the place where something was made or came from:

The furniture was French in origin.
The origin of the money that financed the deal was unclear.
All these products must state their country of origin clearly on the packaging.

[ U ] the place where a person was born:

He is of North African origin.
What is your country of origin?

(Definition of “origin” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)