noun (plural authorities)
- 1 [mass noun] The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience: he had absolute authority over his subordinates a rebellion against those in authorityMore 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.
- 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 traffickersMore 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.
- 1.2Official permission; sanction: the money was spent without parliamentary authorityMore 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 political or administrative power and control: health authorities issued a worldwide alertMore 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.
- 3 [mass noun] The 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 obeyedMore example sentences
influence, sway, control, leverage, power, command, weight; reputation, standing, kudos, status, stature, prestige, gravitas, image, esteem; supremacy, superiority, eminence; rank, position, station; credibility, plausibility, integrity; acceptance, trust, faith, confidenceNorth American • informal drag
- 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 authorityMore 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.
- 3.2 [count noun] A person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert: he was an authority on the stock marketMore example sentences
expert, specialist, professional, pundit, oracle, past master, master, maestro, doyen, adept; guru, sage, scholar; connoisseur, aficionado, one of the cognoscentiBritish • informal dab handcitation, quotation, quote, excerpt, passage
- 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.
- 3.3 [count noun] A book or other source able to supply reliable information or evidence: the court cited a series of authorities supporting their decisionMore 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.
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 weeksMore 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.
Middle English: from Old French autorite, from Latin auctoritas, from auctor 'originator, promoter' (see author).