From 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.]
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   1. The first existence or beginning of anything; the birth.
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            This mixed system of opinion and sentiment had its
            origin in the ancient chivalry.       --Burke.
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   2. That from which anything primarily proceeds; the fountain;
      the spring; the cause; the occasion.
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   3. (Anat.) The point of attachment or end of a muscle which
      is fixed during contraction; -- in contradistinction to
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   Origin of coordinate axes (Math.), the point where the axes
      intersect. See Note under Ordinate.
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   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.
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                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
                signs.                            --Tooke.
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                Famous Greece,
                That source of art and cultivated thought
                Which they to Rome, and Romans hither, brought.
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