beginning vs source what difference

what is difference between beginning and source


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 sours, from Old French sorse (rise, beginning, spring, source), from sors, past participle of sordre, sourdre, from Latin surgō (to rise), which is composed of sub- (up from below) +‎ regō (lead, rule), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₃réǵeti (to straighten; right), from the root *h₃reǵ-. See surge.


  • (General American) IPA(key): /sɔɹs/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /sɔːs/
  • (rhotic, without the horsehoarse merger) IPA(key): /so(ː)ɹs/
  • (non-rhotic, without the horsehoarse merger) IPA(key): /soəs/
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)s
  • Homophone: sauce (non-rhotic accents with the horse–hoarse merger)


source (plural sources)

  1. The person, place, or thing from which something (information, goods, etc.) comes or is acquired.
  2. Spring; fountainhead; wellhead; any collection of water on or under the surface of the ground in which a stream originates.
  3. A reporter’s informant.
  4. (computing) Source code.
  5. (electronics) The name of one terminal of a field effect transistor (FET).


  • wellspring


Derived terms

Related terms

  • resource


See also

  • target


source (third-person singular simple present sources, present participle sourcing, simple past and past participle sourced)

  1. (chiefly US) To obtain or procure: used especially of a business resource.
  2. (transitive) To find information about (a quotation)’s source (from which it comes): to find a citation for.

Derived terms

  • (mainly US): sourcing
  • (mainly US): insourcing
  • (mainly US): outsourcing


Further reading

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


  • ‘course, Couser, Crouse, Crusoe, cerous, coures, course, crouse



From Old French sorse (rise, beginning, spring, source), from sors, past participle of sordre, sourdre, from Latin surgere (to rise). See surge.


  • IPA(key): /suʁs/


source f (plural sources)

  1. source, spring (of water)

Derived terms

  • code source
  • couler de source
  • eau de source
  • langue source
  • prendre sa source
  • source chaude


  • Romanian: sursă



  1. inflection of sourcer:
    1. first-person singular/third-person singular present indicative/present subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading

  • “source” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).


  • coeurs, cœurs
  • coures
  • course, coursé
  • écrous

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