beginning vs origin what difference

what is difference between beginning and origin


Alternative forms

  • begynnynge (obsolete)


  • enPR: bĭgĭn’ĭng, IPA(key): /bɪˈɡɪn.ɪŋ/

Etymology 1

From Middle English biginning, beginninge, beginnunge, equivalent to begin +‎ -ing.


beginning (countable and uncountable, plural beginnings)

  1. (uncountable) The act of doing that which begins anything; commencement of an action, state, or space of time; entrance into being or upon a course; the first act, effort, or state of a succession of acts or states.
  2. That which is begun; a rudiment or element.
  3. That which begins or originates something; the source or first cause.
    What was the beginning of the dispute?
  4. The initial portion of some extended thing.
    The author describes the main character’s youth at the beginning of the story.
    That house is at the beginning of the street.
    • 1975, Frances Keinzley, The Cottage at Chapelyard, page 179,
      “Is anything the matter?” Lady Lindstrom asked anxiously.
      “No,” Megan told her. “I’m merely trying to decide where the beginning is.”
      “Perhaps at the beginning,” the Chief Constable prompted, rather stupidly, Megan thought.
      “Which beginning?” she asked.
Usage notes

“In the beginning” is an idiomatic expression that means “at first, initially”; it does not mean the same as “at the beginning”.

The meaning of “at the beginning” is clear from its parts. This expression is used to refer to the time when or place where something starts; it is used to refer to points in time and space and also to fairly long periods of time and fairly large extents of space. (“At the beginning of the story” can be used to refer to both the first few sentences and to the first chapter or chapters. “At the beginning of the trail” can be used to refer to both the first few meters and the first part of a trail, which can be quite substantial, even a fifth or fourth or more.)

The originally rare and traditionally deprecated usage of “in the beginning of” (instead of “at the beginning of”) has become more common but is still ignored by most dictionaries and other authorities or labeled as unidiomatic or incorrect. Interestingly, there is only rarely confusion between the parallel expressions “in the end” and “at the end (of)”.

  • (act of doing that which begins anything): commencing, start, starting
  • (that which is begun; rudiment or element): element, embryo, rudiment
  • (that which begins or originates something): origin, source, start, commencement
  • (initial portion of some extended thing): head, start
  • (act of doing that which begins anything): conclusion, end
Derived terms
  • a good beginning makes a good ending
  • beginning of day
  • in the beginning

Etymology 2

From Middle English begynnyng, bygynnynge, From Old English *beginnende (attested only as Old English onginnende), from Proto-Germanic *biginnandz, present participle of Proto-Germanic *biginnaną (to begin), equivalent to begin +‎ -ing.



  1. present participle of begin


beginning (not comparable)

  1. (informal) Of or relating to the first portion of some extended thing.
    in the beginning paragraph of the chapter
    in the beginning section of the course
  • first
  • initial



From Middle English origine, origyne, from Old French origine, orine, ourine, from Latin origo (beginning, source, birth, origin), from orior (to rise); see orient. Doublet of origo.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɒɹ.ɪ.dʒɪn/, /ˈɒɹ.ə.dʒən/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɔɹ.ɪ.dʒɪn/, /ˈɔɹ.dʒɪn/
  • (NYC) IPA(key): /ˈɑɹ.ɪ.dʒɪn/


origin (plural origins)

  1. The beginning of something.
  2. The source of a river, information, goods, etc.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture I:
      It is clear that the origin of the truth would be an admirable criterion of this sort, if only the various origins could be discriminated from one another from this point of view, and the history of dogmatic opinion shows that origin has always been a favorite test. Origin in immediate intuition; origin in pontifical authority; origin in supernatural revelation, as by vision, hearing, or unaccountable impression; origin in direct possession by a higher spirit, expressing itself in prophecy and warning; origin in automatic utterance generally,—these origins have been stock warrants for the truth of one opinion after another which we find represented in religious history.
    Synonym: source
  3. (mathematics) The point at which the axes of a coordinate system intersect.
    Synonym: zero vector
  4. (anatomy) The proximal end of attachment of a muscle to a bone that will not be moved by the action of that muscle.
  5. (cartography) An arbitrary point on Earth’s surface, chosen as the zero for a system of coordinates.
  6. (in the plural) Ancestry.


  • (beginning): See Thesaurus:beginning


  • (beginning): end
  • (source): destination
  • (anatomy): insertion

Derived terms

Related terms

  • orient


See also

  • provenance

Further reading

  • origin in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • origin in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.


  • nigori

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