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origin - definition and synonyms


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noun origin pronunciation in British English /ˈɒrɪdʒɪn/
Word Forms
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  1. 1




    [countable] the place or moment where something begins to exist
    origin of: Meteorites may hold clues about the origin of life on Earth.
    origin in: The country’s constitution had its origins in Roman law.
    something owes its origin to someone/something: The collection owes its origin to an anonymous donation of drawings.
    trace your origins (=follow the history of your development): The college can trace its origins back to the 18th century.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] [often plural] the country, race, or social situation that someone comes from
    She tries to hide her upper-class origins, but her accent gives her away.
    humble origins: Despite his humble origins, Steen went on to become a Member of Parliament.
    ethnic/racial origin: All the children will be treated equally, regardless of ethnic origin.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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