origins / foundations What everything else is built upon. Where everything else comes from. The omnipresent beginnings. Knowing where something originates and what is it founded upon can sometimes help one gain a deeper understanding of that thing. Dictionaries list the origins of the words it defines to help give a sense of how that word came to mean what it means. For example, the origin of the word "origin" is "from French origine, from Latin origo, origin-, from oriri 'to rise'"