Pronunciation: (ôr'i-jin, or'-), [key]
1. something from which anything arises or is derived; source; fountainhead: to follow a stream to its origin.
2. rise or derivation from a particular source: the origin of a word.
3. the first stage of existence; beginning: the origin of Quakerism in America.
4. ancestry; parentage; extraction: to be of Scottish origin.
5. Anat.
a. the point of derivation.
b. the more fixed portion of a muscle.
6. Math.
a. the point in a Cartesian coordinate system where the axes intersect.
b. Also called pole. the point from which rays designating specific angles originate in a polar coordinate system with no axes.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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