American English

Definition of source noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a place, person, or thing that you get something from renewable energy sources Your local library will be a useful source of information. What is their main source of income? The tiny window was the only source of light.
  2. 2[usually plural] a person, book, or document that provides information, especially for study, a piece of written work or news He refused to name his sources. Government sources indicated yesterday that cuts may have to be made. source material Historians use a wide range of primary and secondary sources for their research.
  3. 3a person or thing that causes something, especially a problem a source of violence a source of confusion
  4. 4the place where a river or stream starts the source of the Nile
  5. Idioms at the place or the point that something comes from or begins Is your salary taxed at source (= by your employer)? It is better to deal with such problems at source.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: source