What does original mean?

Definitions for original
əˈrɪdʒ ə nlorig·i·nal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word original.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. master, master copy, originalnoun

    an original creation (i.e., an audio recording) from which copies can be made

  2. original, archetype, pilotadjective

    something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies

    "this painting is a copy of the original"

  3. originaladjective

    preceding all others in time or being as first made or performed

    "the original inhabitants of the Americas"; "the book still has its original binding"; "restored the house to its original condition"; "the original performance of the opera"; "the original cast"; "retracted his original statement"

  4. originaladjective

    (of e.g. information) not secondhand or by way of something intermediary

    "his work is based on only original, not secondary, sources"

  5. originaladjective

    being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of

    "a truly original approach"; "with original music"; "an original mind"

  6. originaladjective

    not derived or copied or translated from something else

    "the play is original; not an adaptation"; "he kept the original copy and gave her only a xerox"; "the translation misses much of the subtlety of the original French"


  1. originalnoun

    An object or other creation (e.g. narrative work) from which all later copies and variations are derived

    This manuscript is the original

  2. originalnoun

    A person with a unique and interesting personality and/or creative talent

    You're an original

  3. originalnoun

    An eccentric

  4. originaladjective

    First in a series or copies/versions

  5. originaladjective

    Newly created

    Tonight we will hear an original work by one of our best composers.

  6. originaladjective

    Fresh, different

    The paper contains a number of original ideas about color perception.

  7. originaladjective


    Parker was one of the original bebop players.

  8. originaladjective

    Having as its origin

    This kind of barbecue is original to North Carolina.

  9. Etymology: From original, from original, from originalis, from origo; see origin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ORIGINALadjective

    Primitive; pristine; first.

    Etymology: originel, Fr. originalis, Latin.

    The original question was, whether God by this law hath forbidden the giving any worship to himself by an image? Edward Stillingfleet, on Idolatry.

    Had Adam obeyed God, his original perfection, the knowledge and ability God at first gave him, would still have continued. William Wake, Prep. for Death.

    You still, fair mother, in your offspring trace
    The stock of beauty destin’d for the race;
    Kind nature, forming them the pattern took,
    From heav’n’s first work, and Eve’s original look. Matthew Prior.

  2. Origin, Originalnoun

    Etymology: origine, Fr. origo, Lat.

    The sacred historian only treats of the origins of terrestrial animals. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    Nature which contemns its origin,
    Cannot be border’d certain in itself. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    If any station upon earth be honourable, theirs was; and their posterity therefore have no reason to blush at the memory of such an original. Francis Atterbury.

    Original of beings! pow’r divine!
    Since that I live and that I think, is thine. Matthew Prior.

    These great orbs,
    Primitive founts, and origins of light. Matthew Prior.

    Compare this translation with the original, and the three first stanzas are rendered almost word for word, and not only with the same elegance, but with the same turn of expression. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 229.

    External material things, as the objects of sensation; and the operations of our minds within, as the objects of reflection; are the only originals from whence all our ideas take their beginnings. John Locke.

    They, like the seed from which they sprung, accurst
    Against the gods immortal hatred nurst;
    An impious, arrogant, and cruel brood,
    Expressing their original from blood. Dryden.


  1. original

    Originality is the aspect of created or invented works that distinguish them from reproductions, clones, forgeries, or substantially derivative works. The modern idea of originality is according to some scholars tied to Romanticism, by a notion that is often called romantic originality. The validity of "originality" as an operational concept has been questioned. For example, there is no clear boundary between "derivative" and "inspired by" or "in the tradition of." The concept of originality is both culturally and historically contingent. For example, unattributed reiteration of a published text in one culture might be considered plagiarism but in another culture might be regarded as a convention of veneration. At the time of Shakespeare, it was more common to appreciate the similarity with an admired classical work, and Shakespeare himself avoided "unnecessary invention". It wasn't until the start of the 18th century that the concept of originality became an ideal in Western culture.


  1. original

    Original refers to something that has not been imitated, copied or derived from anything else, and is uniquely new or inventive. It can pertain to a work, an idea, or an object that is considered the first of its kind or the source from where derivatives may come. Original can also describe a person who is inventive, creative, or unique in their thoughts or actions.


  1. Original

    "Original" is a song by Leftfield, released as the sixth single under that name. The song was released on 12" and CD on 13 March 1995. It featured Toni Halliday on vocals. The song gave the group their first appearance on Top of the Pops and reached #18 in the UK charts. The beginning of the song is used often on the UK version of Big Brother.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'original' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #904

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'original' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1500

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'original' in Adjectives Frequency: #106

How to pronounce original?

How to say original in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of original in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of original in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of original in a Sentence

  1. Abdul Karim:

    It is identical to the original piece with all its details and decorations because the 3D technique is very developed, but it is no substitute for the original object.

  2. Fran Lebowitz:

    Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.

  3. Christy Oglesby -LRB- right -RRB-:

    The Netflix original series probably takes us close to an hour to watch a 30-minute episode, the Netflix original series's because of you explaining what mise-en-scène means( The Netflix original series's French for' to place in the frame,' and it means that everything in the frame has significance) ; how a specific shot correlates to one of' The Karate Kid ' movies, us dissecting the dialogue ; and me ranting about the angsty unnecessary mistakes of teenagers, both of us loving a camera angle or shot composition and rewinding to watch it three times. Our binging is more like really slow consumption and digestion.

  4. Alamo Drafthouse:

    It’s always been a dream to show the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy again — somehow, someway, seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun. When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big.

  5. Clive Staples Lewis:

    Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for original

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • أصْلِيّ, أصليArabic
  • অপূর্বBengali
  • původníCzech
  • oprindeligDanish
  • Urschrift, Original, ursprünglich, originell, ur-German
  • αρχικός, πρωτοποριακός, πρωτότυποGreek
  • originalaEsperanto
  • original, únicoSpanish
  • اریژینال, اصلیPersian
  • peräisin, originelli, omintakeinen, omaperäinen, originaali, ensimmäinen, alkuperäiskappale, alkuperäinen, tuoreFinnish
  • originel, originalFrench
  • tùsailScottish Gaelic
  • eredetiHungarian
  • frumrit, frumeintak, orginallIcelandic
  • originaleItalian
  • 原物, 本来, 原文, 原作Japanese
  • 최초, 원래의Korean
  • originalLatin
  • taketakeMāori
  • origineel, vernieuwend, oorspronkelijk, unicum, afkomstigDutch
  • opprinneligNorwegian
  • original, originárioPortuguese
  • первоисточник, оригинальный, новый, первичный, первоначальный, исходный, свежий, своеобразный, исходный текст, оригиналRussian
  • изворник, нов, original, свеж, самобитан, izvornik, svež, prvobitni, првобитни, samobitan, nov, оригиналSerbo-Croatian
  • förlaga, ursprunglig, original, originell, original-Swedish
  • halisiSwahili
  • அசல்Tamil
  • orijinalTurkish

Get even more translations for original »


Find a translation for the original definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"original." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/original>.

Discuss these original definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for original? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting
    • A. scrutiny
    • B. relocation
    • C. integrity
    • D. abdomen

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for original: