The LessonThe origin is where the x-axis and y-axis meet on a graph. The image below shows what we mean by the origin:
The origin is often denoted by the letter O.
Dictionary DefinitionThe Oxford English Dictionary defines the origin as "a fixed point from which measurement or motion commences; specifically the point of intersection of the axes in Cartesian coordinates."
The Cartesian Coordinates of the OriginThe Cartesian co-ordinate of the origin is (0, 0).
This is because the value of the x-axis is 0 and the value of the y-axis is 0. This means the x-coordinate is 0 and the y-coordinate is 0.
The Origin on A Number LineThe origin also refers to 0 on a number line.
Note: The x-axis and y-axis are number lines. The origin is found at 0 on both axes.
What's in a Name?Origin means "start" or "beginning". When you count on a number line, you start from 0. When you define a point with Cartesian coordinates, you start from the origin. Imagine you wanted to find the point (2, 4). Starting from the origin:
- go 2 across (across the x-axis)
- go 4 up (up the y-axis)