Hypertext Webster Gateway: "origin"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Origin \Or"i*gin\, n. [F. origine, L. origo, -iginis, fr. oriri
to rise, become visible; akin to Gr. 'orny`nai to stir up,
rouse, Skr. [.r], and perh. to E. run.]
1. The first existence or beginning of anything; the birth.

This mixed system of opinion and sentiment had its
origin in the ancient chivalry. --Burke.

2. That from which anything primarily proceeds; the fountain;
the spring; the cause; the occasion.

3. (Anat.) The point of attachment or end of a muscle which
is fixed during contraction; -- in contradistinction to

{Origin of co["o]rdinate axes} (Math.), the point where the
axes intersect. See Note under {Ordinate}.

Syn: Commencement; rise; source; spring; fountain;
derivation; cause; root; foundation.

Usage: {Origin}, {Source}. Origin denotes the rise or
commencement of a thing; source presents itself under
the image of a fountain flowing forth in a continuous
stream of influences. The origin of moral evil has
been much disputed, but no one can doubt that it is
the source of most of the calamities of our race.

I think he would have set out just as he did,
with the origin of ideas -- the proper starting
point of a grammarian, who is to treat of their
signs. --Tooke.

Famous Greece, That source of art and cultivated
thought Which they to Rome, and Romans hither,
brought. --Waller.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: the place where something begins, where it springs into
being; "the Italian beginning of the Renaissance";
"Jupiter was the origin of the radiation"; "Pittsburgh
is the source of the Ohio River"; "communism's Russian
root" [syn: {beginning}, {root}, {rootage}, {source}]
2: properties attributable to your ancestry; "he comes from
good origins" [syn: {descent}, {extraction}]
3: an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of
subsequent events [syn: {origination}, {genesis}, {inception}]
4: the point of intersection of coordinate axes; where the
values of the coordinates are all zero
5: the descendants of one individual; "his entire lineage has
been warriors" [syn: {lineage}, {line}, {line of descent},
{descent}, {bloodline}, {blood line}, {blood}, {pedigree},
{ancestry}, {parentage}, {stock}]

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