Authority definition

ə-thôrĭ-tē, ə-thŏr-, ô-
Frequency:
A conclusive statement or decision that may be taken as a guide or precedent.
noun
27
6
Justification; grounds.

On what authority do you make such a claim?

noun
21
6
A public agency or corporation with administrative powers in a specified field.

A city transit authority.

noun
16
6
Power or influence resulting from knowledge, prestige, etc.
noun
11
1
Reliability of a source or witness.
noun
7
1
Advertisement
Power assigned to another; authorization.

Deputies were given authority to make arrests.

noun
7
4
Confidence derived from experience or practice; firm self-assurance.

Played the sonata with authority.

noun
3
0
Such power as delegated to another; authorization; warrant.

He has my authority to do it.

noun
5
3
Authority that is detrimental to a party’s argument or position regarding a question or an issue. Usually, when a lawyer finds such authority, he is under an ethical obligation to reveal it to the court, but it is done in such a way (for example, arguing that the decision in a previous case should be narrowly construed or was wrongly decided) as to minimize the authority’s effect upon his client’s case.
3
1
The right or power to command, govern, or enforce obedience.
noun
5
4
Advertisement
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.

noun
1
0
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.

noun
1
0
Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience.

Political observers who acquire authority with age.

noun
1
0
A quotation or citation from such a source.

Biblical authorities for a moral argument.

noun
1
0
The power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction.
noun
1
0
Advertisement
The citation of a writing, decision, etc. in support of an opinion, action, etc.
noun
1
1
A government agency that administers a project.
noun
1
1
The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.
noun
0
0
One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials.

Land titles issued by the civil authority.

noun
0
0
An accepted source of expert information or advice.

A noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority.

noun
0
0
Advertisement
A person with much knowledge or experience in some field, whose information or opinion is hence reliable; expert.
noun
0
0
Self-assurance and expertness that come with experience.

The pianist's performance lacked authority.

noun
0
0
The position of one having such power.

A person in authority.

noun
0
0
The writing, etc. cited.
noun
0
0
Persons, esp. in government, having the power or right to enforce orders, laws, etc.
noun
0
0
Advertisement
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.
noun
0
0
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.
noun
0
0
Authority, express or implied, intentionally given by a principal to an agent.
0
0
Authority that can be reasonably inferred by a third party to have been given to an agent based upon the third party’s dealings with the principal or upon the principal’s representations even if the principal did not intend to give the agent such authority.
0
0
0
0
Advertisement
Authority that is not binding on a court but still merits consideration. For example, a scholarly work or the decision of a higher court in another jurisdiction.
0
0
Authority that is issued by law-making bodies, such as a court’s decision or a statute’s legislative history.
0
0
Authority that analyzes and explains the law, but is not issued by a court or legislature. For example, an annotation, law review article, or legal treatise.
0
0
(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!

noun
0
0
(used in singular or plural form) Persons in command; specifically, government.
noun
0
0
Advertisement
(countable) A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.

The world's foremost authority on orangutans.

noun
0
0

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
authority
Plural:
authorities

Origin of authority

  • Middle English auctorite from Old French autorite from Latin auctōritās auctōritāt- from auctor creator author

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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”)

    From Wiktionary