The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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 coordinate 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
That source of art and cultivated thought
Which they to Rome, and Romans hither, brought.