9 Synonyms for Source: Origin, Spring, Reference, Authority, Fount…



refers to where a person, place, or thing (noun) comes from or originates. It can also refer to where something can be obtained or where you can get it.

Here are some other ways to say this.

1. Origin

refers to where something comes from.  It is where something derives, begins, or arises. Originate is the verb form of origin and is used very often.

  • We have to find the origin of the issues before we can determine how to best fix it.
  • The scientist are busy trying to understand where the virus originated from.

2. Birthplace

refers to where someone or something was born or first came into the world. A person has a birthplace, and so do ideas. Movements can also have a birthplace, and that just means where something started.

  • Memphis, Tennessee is considered the birthplace of rock and roll.
  • Where is your birthplace?
  • The birthplace of democracy is Athens, Greece.

3. Spring

has more than one meaning, but as a synonym to source it is used to talk about where something originates or rises. Spring can be used in the same way as birthplace, and in that case usually takes the past tense form of sprung. It can also be used to speak about a movement.

An example from current events is “The Arab Spring”, which was a series of protest and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa.

  • The non-profit sprung from the founder’s experience of growing up hungry.
  • The musical notes have to spring from your heart, if you are going to connect with the audience.

4. Fount

mean that someone or something is the source of something valuable or positive. A fount can be a person, place or object.

  • He knew everything about the city, he was an incredible fount of knowledge.
  • I don’t want to just read about what everyone else said, I want to get my information from the fount.

5. Starting Point

simply refers to where something begins or the basis of why something begins. Think of a race. Where the runners start is the starting point. 

  • The outline of the project was a good starting point for us to all begin working from.
  • The house was so messy and cluttered, it was almost too overwhelming to even find a starting point, so that we could begin cleaning.

6. Ground zero

can refer to the surface of the Earth that is either directly above or below where a bomb exploded. It can be used to discuss any negative disaster, natural or manmade. Think of it as the starting point of the destruction. It can also just refer to where something began in a similar way to starting point.

  • The man looked on in bewilderment and horror as he stood in ground zero of where the tornado hit. There was nothing but destruction for miles.
  • This building is ground zero for our new start up.


can also be the place where a river or stream beings or where is gets it’s water from. When source is used like this, it often refers to any water source.

  • Where is the source of the Mississippi River?
  • If we are going to bring water to this part of the city, we will first need to find a source.

Here’s another way to say this.

7. Wellspring

refers to a bountiful source of something. It can be used to refer to the source of anything, but it’s often associated with water.

  • We get our water from the wellspring a few miles away.
  • Nashville is the wellspring of country music.


can also mean a book or document used to provide proof or evidence of something. A source can also be used as a resource of knowledge.

  • How do you know that, what’s your source?
  • Who’s the source of that nasty rumor going around?

Here are some other words you can use to say this.

8. Reference

can mean that someone or something is the source of information. When someone references someone or something they are recognizing or giving that person credit for what is being said. When writing an academic paper it is necessary to reference where your information came from.

  • He has some incredible references in his research paper, allowing him to draw some very interesting conclusions.
  • Don’t forget to reference your source. 

9. Authority

refers to someone who has power or knowledge on a situation, so much so that people seek them out for their opinions or to share their knowledge. An authority figure on a subject is usually the source of information.

  • Make sure the person you are referencing is an authority on the topic.
  • He is the foremost authority on molecular physics.
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