c. 1400, "ancestry, race," from Latin originem (nominative origo) "a rise, commencement, beginning, source; descent, lineage, birth," from stem of oriri "arise, rise, get up; appear above the horizon, become visible; be born, be descended, receive life;" figuratively "come forth, take origin, proceed, start" (of rivers, rumors, etc.), from PIE *heri- "to rise" (source also of Hittite arai- "to arise, lift, raise," Sanskrit iyarti "to set in motion, move," Armenian y-arnem "to rise"). Meaning "beginning of existence" is from 1560s; sense of "that from which something derives its being or nature" is from c. 1600.
updated on January 24, 2020
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