Share this entry

originate Syllabification: o·rig·i·nate
Pronunciation: /əˈrijəˌnāt/

Definition of originate in English:


[no object]
1Have a specified beginning: the word originated as a marketing term
More example sentences
  • Though the word originates from the Latin debere, it comes via the Old French dette.
  • Deschauer said the water originates from the south, an area of pasture and woodland.
  • The seeds used to grow the diseased potatoes are believed to have originated in Holland.
arise, have its origin, begin, start, stem, spring, emerge, emanate
1.1 [with object] Create or initiate (something): he is responsible for originating this particular cliché
More example sentences
  • We didn't go out and originate a track in India with a tabla player and then build upon that.
  • He originated the idea of a negawatt, a unit electricity which is simply not used.
  • This is what Hindu thought has done, however, in originating the concept of dharma.
invent, create, initiate, devise, think up, dream up, conceive, formulate, form, develop, generate, engender, produce, mastermind, pioneer
literary beget


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin originat- 'caused to begin', from Latin origo, origin- 'source, origin'.



Pronunciation: /əˌrijəˈnāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • I want to go to that in just a minute, but I want to go back to the origination of everything.
  • The origination of these messages should come from a central source close to the top politician.
  • As far as our relationship to the world is concerned, this phenomenal world exists based on interdependent origination.


Pronunciation: /-ˌnātiv/
Example sentences
  • This originative source is a well from which very different kinds of poems can be drawn up.
  • In addition, the deities who create from nothing or emerge from this void are given a new and special kind of power; for though creators of the world, they remain distinct from it in their originative form.
  • God is the source of the creative energy of the human psyche, soul, and body - an originative force.

Words that rhyme with originate

decaffeinate • paginate

Definition of originate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhɔːti
arrogantly superior and disdainful