Definitions for authorityəˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word authority

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

au•thor•i•ty*əˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-(n.)(pl.)-ties.

  1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues; the right to control, command, or determine.

  2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization.

  3. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.

    Category: Government

  4. Usu., authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law; government.

    Category: Government

  5. an accepted source of information, advice, or substantiation.

  6. a quotation or citation from such a source.

  7. an expert on a subject.

  8. persuasive force; conviction.

  9. a statute, court rule, or judicial decision that establishes a rule or principle of law; ruling.

  10. the right to respect or acceptance of one's word, command, thought, etc.; commanding influence.

  11. a warrant for action; justification.

  12. testimony; witness.

* Syn: authority , control , influence denote a power or right to direct the actions or thoughts of others. authority is a power or right, usu. because of rank or office, to issue commands and to punish for violations: to have authority over subordinates.control is either power or influence applied to the complete and successful direction or manipulation of persons or things: to be in control of a project.influence is a personal and unofficial power derived from deference of others to one's character, ability, or station; it may be exerted unconsciously or may operate through persuasion: to have influence over one's friends.

Origin of authority:

1200–50; ME < OF < L

Princeton's WordNet

  1. authority, authorization, authorisation, potency, dominance, say-so(noun)

    the power or right to give orders or make decisions

    "he has the authority to issue warrants"; "deputies are given authorization to make arrests"; "a place of potency in the state"

  2. authority(noun)

    (usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others

    "the authorities have issued a curfew"

  3. authority(noun)

    an expert whose views are taken as definitive

    "he is an authority on corporate law"

  4. assurance, self-assurance, confidence, self-confidence, authority, sureness(noun)

    freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities

    "his assurance in his superiority did not make him popular"; "after that failure he lost his confidence"; "she spoke with authority"

  5. agency, federal agency, government agency, bureau, office, authority(noun)

    an administrative unit of government

    "the Central Intelligence Agency"; "the Census Bureau"; "Office of Management and Budget"; "Tennessee Valley Authority"

  6. authority, authorization, authorisation, sanction(noun)

    official permission or approval

    "authority for the program was renewed several times"

  7. authority(noun)

    an authoritative written work

    "this book is the final authority on the life of Milton"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. authority(noun)əˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

    official power

    to have the authority to close down the store; people in positions of authority

  2. authorityəˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

    an official organization

    the health authorities

  3. authorityəˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

    the police or another group with the power to enforce the law

  4. authorityəˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

    confidence and the appearance of control

    to speak with authority

  5. authorityəˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr-

    an expert in a subject

    a world authority on plant biology


  1. authority(Noun)

    The power to enforce rules or give orders.

  2. authority(Noun)

    Persons in command; specifically, government.

  3. authority(Noun)

    A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.

    The world's foremost authority on orangutans.

  4. Origin: autorite, from auctorité, from stem of auctoritas, from auctor

Webster Dictionary

  1. Authority(noun)

    legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; power exercised buy a person in virtue of his office or trust; dominion; jurisdiction; authorization; as, the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children; the authority of a court

  2. Authority(noun)

    government; the persons or the body exercising power or command; as, the local authorities of the States; the military authorities

  3. Authority(noun)

    the power derived from opinion, respect, or esteem; influence of character, office, or station, or mental or moral superiority, and the like; claim to be believed or obeyed; as, an historian of no authority; a magistrate of great authority

  4. Authority(noun)

    that which, or one who, is claimed or appealed to in support of opinions, actions, measures, etc

  5. Authority(noun)

    testimony; witness

  6. Authority(noun)

    a precedent; a decision of a court, an official declaration, or an opinion, saying, or statement worthy to be taken as a precedent

  7. Authority(noun)

    a book containing such a statement or opinion, or the author of the book

  8. Authority(noun)

    justification; warrant


  1. Authority

    The word authority is derived from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word authority can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area. The word Authority with capital A refers to the governing body upon which such authority is vested; for example, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority or the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'authority' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #514

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'authority' in Written Corpus Frequency: #697

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'authority' in Nouns Frequency: #77

Translations for authority

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the power or right to do something

He gave me authority to act on his behalf.

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