- The definition of an authority is a public organization that controls an area or certain activities.
A corporation that provides bus service in a city is an example of a transit authority.
- Authority is defined as a person who is considered an expert in his field.
A philosophy scholar who publishes books is an example of an authority.
- the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction
- the position of one having such power: a person in authority
- such power as delegated to another; authorization; warrant: he has my authority to do it
- power or influence resulting from knowledge, prestige, etc.
- the citation of a writing, decision, etc. in support of an opinion, action, etc.
- the writing, etc. cited
- reliability of a source or witness
- [pl.] persons, esp. in government, having the power or right to enforce orders, laws, etc.
- a government agency that administers a project
- a person with much knowledge or experience in some field, whose information or opinion is hence reliable; expert
- self-assurance and expertness that come with experience: the pianist's performance lacked authority
Origin of authorityMiddle English autorite from Old French autorité, auctorité from Classical Latin auctoritas from auctor, author
- a. The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.b. One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials: land titles issued by the civil authority.
- Power assigned to another; authorization: Deputies were given authority to make arrests.
- A public agency or corporation with administrative powers in a specified field: a city transit authority.
- a. An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority.b. A quotation or citation from such a source: biblical authorities for a moral argument.
- Justification; grounds: On what authority do you make such a claim?
- A conclusive statement or decision that may be taken as a guide or precedent.
- Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience: political observers who acquire authority with age.
- Confidence derived from experience or practice; firm self-assurance: played the sonata with authority.
Origin of authorityMiddle English auctorite from Old French autorite from Latin auctōritās auctōritāt- from auctor creator ; see author .
(countable and uncountable, plural authorities)
- (uncountable) The power to enforce rules or give orders.
- I have the authority to penalise the staff in my department, but not the authority to sack them. She lost all her respect and authority after turning up drunk to the meeting. Respect my authority!
- (used in singular or plural form) Persons in command; specifically, government.
- (countable) A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.
- the world's foremost authority on orangutans
Middle English autorite (“book or quotation that settles an argument”), from Old French auctorité, from Latin stem of auctoritas (“invention, advice, opinion, influence, command”), from auctor (“master, leader, author”)
authority - Legal Definition
- The authorization, permission, power, or right to act on another’s behalf and to bind them by such actions. See also agency, agent, and principal.
- The right or power to command, govern, or enforce obedience.
- A legal writing, such as a judicial decision, law review article or legal treatise, or a statute’s legislative history that provides information or insight on how to interpret and apply the law. See also precedent.