Definition of source noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sɔːs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sɔːrs//
    Rivers and lakes, Journalism
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  1. 1  a 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. See related entries: Journalism
  3. 3  a 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 Wordfinderbend, course, current, dam, downstream, estuary, river, source, tributary, waterfall See related entries: Rivers and lakes
  5. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French sours(e), past participle of sourdre ‘to rise’, from Latin surgere.Extra examples Do you have any foreign sources of income? Do you know the source of this rumour/​rumor? Government sources indicated that a compromise might be reached. Intelligence sources report a build-up of troops just inside the border. Is your salary taxed at source= by your employer? One source said: ‘Our blood is up. We are angry at the way we have been treated.’ One source said: ‘We are angry at the way we have been treated.’ Researchers try to quote primary sources wherever possible. Sources close to the player claim he won’t be entering this year’s championship. The census constitutes the principal source of official statistics. The evidence is corroborated by multiple sources. The government hopes to tap new sources of employment in the area of health. The only source of light was the fire. The police refused to reveal the source of their information. The press room was a valuable source of information for journalists. The research was funded from a wide variety of sources. The town obtains all its energy from renewable sources. These crustaceans provide a valuable food source for some fish. Under the PAYE system, employees’ income is taxed at source. We need to look for alternative sources of energy. We tried to locate the source of the sound. a cheap source of labour a constant source of irritation a fertile source of ideas a lucrative source of income a potential source of conflict a reliable source of advice a rich source of vitamins a source of energy/​food/​light a source of inspiration/​strength an independent source of funding his refusal to reveal the identity of a confidential source to develop new sources of revenue We need to obtain more energy from renewable sources.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 American Dictionary entry: source