Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The quality of being original.
  • noun The capacity to act or think independently.
  • noun Something original.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The quality or state of being original.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being original.
  • noun Ability to create new and original ideas, works of art, theories, etc.; ability to express oneself in an original manner; creativity; -- of people.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The quality of being original or novel.
  • noun uncountable The capacity to think independently or be inventive.
  • noun countable Something original.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the quality of being new and original (not derived from something else)
  • noun the ability to think and act independently

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From original +‎ -ity.

Examples

  • The amount and the quality of that which we call originality, creative power, or genius, is entirely dependent upon the activity, force, and integrity of the Imagination.

    The Elements of Character

  • Some theorists have too hastily assumed that, as the power of public opinion increases, the force of private character, or what we call originality, is absorbed into and diluted by it.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867

  • He might laugh at what he called her originality, but he could not afford to jest at the prospect of her giving Clare an account of his life.

    Adam Johnstone's Son

  • For what we call originality seems not so much anything peculiar, much less anything odd, but that quality in a man which touches human nature at most points of its circumference, which reinvigorates the consciousness of our own powers by recalling and confirming our own unvalued sensations and perceptions, gives classic shape to our own amorphous imaginings, and adequate utterance to our own stammering conceptions or emotions.

    Among My Books Second Series

  • That we endure it under the pretense of "originality" is just insulting our intelligence.

    Is a grim, dark, nihilistic view of the future in SciFi...groundbreaking?

  • As many scholars have established, "originality" is itself a concept that arises from the "individualism" of the Romantic movement of that century, although not all of the Romantic writers could be measured by it.

    Principles of Literary Criticism

  • An influential teacher, for instance, may go unmentioned in an artist's biography out of fear that unflattering comparisons will be made or that an artist's apparent originality is actually less than it might seem.

    Daniel Grant: There's a Lot of Backbiting Among Artists

  • There are good things about Bleach, but – at least from what I can tell so far – originality is definitely not one of them.

    Superhero Nation: how to write superhero novels and comic books » Don’t give up your secret identity!

  • Focusing on originality is strategic in a culture that respects individual genius, but fanworks are always also embedded in repetition.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • An influential teacher, for instance, may go unmentioned in an artist's biography out of fear that unflattering comparisons will be made or that an artist's apparent originality is actually less than it might seem.

    Daniel Grant: There's a Lot of Backbiting Among Artists

Comments

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  • JM really believes that originality is the art of concealing your sources.

    July 14, 2011