Definition of authority in English:

authority

Syllabification: au·thor·i·ty
Pronunciation: /əˈTHôrədē
 
/
(abbreviation: auth.)

noun (plural authorities)

1The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience: he had absolute authority over his subordinates positions of authority they acted under the authority of the UN Security Council a rebellion against those in authority
More example sentences
  • That is vital if soldiers are to trust those in authority over them.
  • And this fact will, no doubt, be trumpeted as a success by those set in authority over us.
  • You may clash with somebody in authority over an important and complex matter in what could turn out to be a difficult period.
Synonyms
1.1 [often with infinitive] The right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another: military forces have the legal authority to arrest drug traffickers
More example sentences
  • It is our right to determine who enters the country and we democratically delegate the authority to uphold this right to the Federal government.
  • We can delegate the authority to train and bring up our children to someone else but never the responsibility.
  • And when I delegate responsibility, I delegate the authority to go along with it.
Synonyms
authorization, right, power, mandate, prerogative, license, permission
1.2Official permission; sanction: the money was spent without congressional authority
More example sentences
  • The accused approached government officials, seeking authority to leave the country.
  • No change of the publication regime is planned, his staff discovers, and the officials involved have no authority to issue any print licenses.
  • And agents do not have permission and have no authority, no jurisdiction to work on Jordanian soil.
2 (often authorities) A person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere: the health authorities the Chicago Transit Authority the authorities ordered all foreign embassies to close she wasn’t used to dealing with authority
More example sentences
  • Apart from the politicians and the health authorities, economists are also worried.
  • These, then, are the various powers under which governmental authorities may act.
  • They are also calling for powers to allow authorities to intervene to protect young people who are at risk from drugs.
Synonyms
officials, officialdom; government, administration, establishment; police
3The power to influence others, especially because of one’s commanding manner or one’s recognized knowledge about something: he has the natural authority of one who is used to being obeyed he spoke with authority on the subject
More example sentences
  • One man in particular stood out amongst them, standing with authority and giving commands to anyone who came near.
  • He rose quickly in an army which appreciated his soldierly presence and natural authority.
  • But my enthusiasm waned slightly as I began to realise there are only so many colours that can be cited as ‘lucky’ with authority.
3.1The confidence resulting from personal expertise: he hit the ball with authority
More example sentences
  • He strikes the ball around the table with great authority and confidence.
  • He controlled his goal area with confidence and authority and dealt expertly with every situation.
  • He looked as suave as when we first dated, dressed in a sharp suit, walking with an air of confidence and authority.
3.2A person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert: she was an authority on the stock market
More example sentences
  • The early Dissenters and Separatists of the late 15th century were his specialist study, and he became an authority on this subject.
  • Names are so hard to get right - and he is an authority on the subject.
  • She has been 6 years with this work and is clearly now an authority on the subject.
Synonyms
3.3A book or other source able to supply reliable information or evidence, typically to settle a dispute: the court cited a series of authorities supporting their decision
More example sentences
  • None of the books quotes any sources or authorities for its statements, and all have pathetic indexes.
  • Changes of this sort would, I feel, help to establish the book as an important authority in this crucial and fast-changing field.
  • He was not able to produce any authority in support of his proposition.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French autorite, from Latin auctoritas, from auctor 'originator, promoter' (see author).

Phrases

have something on good authority

Have ascertained something from a reliable source: I have it on good authority that there is a waiting list of up to five weeks
More example sentences
  • We have this information on good authority from our own very reliable Minister for Justice.
  • I have it on good authority that he has left the company.
  • I have it on good authority (as I can't understand a word of it myself!) that this e-mail is asking what we think about using the Welsh Language in Wales or something like that.
Synonyms
evidence, testimony, witness, attestation, word, avowal; Lawdeposition

Definition of authority in:

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Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
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lack of modesty