When you buy a car from its original owner, you know it's only been owned by one person. Original means "the very first."

Original comes from the Latin word originem, which means "beginning or birth." Whether you're using it as an adjective to describe something that is literally the very first, or as a noun meaning something that serves as a model for making copies, original means "first." Even when you describe an original idea, meaning "something fresh or unusual," you're talking about the first idea of its kind.

Definitions of original
  1. adjective
    preceding all others in time or being as first made or performed
    “the original inhabitants of the Americas”
    “the book still has its original binding”
    “restored the house to its original condition”
    “the original performance of the opera”
    “the original cast”
    “retracted his original statement”
    preceding all others in time or space or degree
  2. adjective
    being or productive of something fresh and unusual; or being as first made or thought of
    “a truly original approach”
    “with original music”
    “an original mind”
    not conforming to accepted rules or standards
    creative, originative
    having the ability or power to create, especially something new or imaginative
    preceding all others in time or space or degree
    avant-garde, daring
    radically new or original
    freehand, freehanded
    done by hand without mechanical aids or devices
    fresh, new, novel
    original and of a kind not seen before
    germinal, originative, seminal
    containing seeds of later development
    groundbreaking, innovational, innovative
    being or producing something like nothing done or experienced or created before
    new, newfangled
    (of a new kind or fashion) gratuitously new
    not derivative or imitative
    of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary
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    not original; not being or productive of something fresh and unusual
    following accepted customs and proprieties
    not creative
    lacking freshness, palatability, or showing deterioration from age
    banal, commonplace, hackneyed, old-hat, shopworn, stock, threadbare, timeworn, tired, trite, well-worn
    repeated too often; overfamiliar through overuse
    bromidic, corny, platitudinal, platitudinous
    dull and tiresome but with pretensions of significance or originality
    cliched, ready-made
    repeated regularly without thought or originality
    cold, dusty, moth-eaten, stale
    lacking originality or spontaneity; no longer new
    blindly imitative
    being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate
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  3. adjective
    not derived or copied or translated from something else
    “the play is original
    “he kept the original copy and gave her only a xerox”
    “the translation misses much of the subtlety of the original French”
    not derived; primary or simple
  4. adjective
    (of e.g. information) not secondhand or by way of something intermediary
    “his work is based on only original, not secondary, sources”
    of first rank or importance or value; direct and immediate rather than secondary
  5. noun
    an original creation (i.e., an audio recording) from which copies can be made
    synonyms: master, master copy
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    type of:
    an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone
  6. noun
    something that serves as a model or a basis for making copies
    “this painting is a copy of the original
    synonyms: archetype, pilot
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    the first functional model of some new design or product
    type of:
    example, model
    a representative form or pattern
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