1. Preceding all others in time; first: Who played the original Dracula?
a. Not derived from something else; fresh and unusual: an original play, not an adaptation.
b. Showing a marked departure from previous practice; new: a truly original approach. See Synonyms at new.
3. Productive of new things or new ideas; inventive: an original mind.
4. Being the source from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made.
1. A first form or model from which others are made or developed: Later versions of the car retained key features of the original.
a. An authentic work of art: bought an original, not a print.
b. A work that has been composed firsthand or used to make a copy, reproduction, or translation: kept the original but sent a photocopy to his publisher.
a. A person with a creative or unusual personality.
b. A person who is appealingly odd or curious; a character.
4. Archaic The source from which something arises; an originator.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin orīginālis, from orīgō, orīgin-, source; see ORIGIN.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus