Definition of author in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôTHər/
(abbreviation auth.)


1A writer of a book, article, or report: he is the author of several books on the subject
More example sentences
  • Here's a good article by the authors of the new book.
  • He is also a prolific writer, being the author of a dozen books on subjects such as Islamic theology, ethics, Sufism and comparative religions.
  • Father Yvon was also a noted writer, the author of several books about the sea.
novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, biographer;
columnist, reporter;
informal scribe, scribbler
1.1Someone who writes books as a profession: my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Aldous Huxley
More example sentences
  • Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood writes of the influence George Orwell had on her and her writing, to mark the centenary of his birth.
  • Years ago, science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote an anthology of books entitled I, Robot.
  • Another reason for his attraction to Deirdre is that they both share a passion for books, especially those written by neglected authors.
1.2The writings of a professional author: I had to read authors I disliked
More example sentences
  • And did she read those two authors because of personal ties?
  • Where earlier historians had read ancient authors with deference and credulity, he approached their works with presumptuous skepticism.
  • While these contemporary writers may not have read many of the authors in Harlem's Glory, many of their themes turn out to be echoes of this earlier writing.
1.3An originator or creator of something, especially a plan or idea: the authors of the peace plan
More example sentences
  • Very few of the plan's original authors are still there.
  • The plan's authors believe there is significant tourism potential for water sports to be further developed and states that the surf school should be expanded to a year round activity.
  • In a legal system that's built on analogy and precedent, principles often expand past the boundaries that even their authors originally urged.
originator, creator, instigator, founder, father, architect, designer, deviser, producer;
cause, agent


[with object]
1Be the author of (a book or piece of writing): she has authored several articles on wildlife
More example sentences
  • While this is a jointly authored book, the switch from one section to the other is seamless.
  • She has authored seven books and over one hundred articles.
  • She authored many best-selling books, including Forever Young, Forever Healthy.
1.1Be the originator of; create: the concept has been authored largely by insurance companies
More example sentences
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority is currently authoring guidelines to regulate insurance advertising.
  • The idea of composing a life, authoring one's own actions, acting as an agent, makes little sense in this view.
  • This goodly frame, the earth, was such a configuration, authored by God, and with wondrous messages for those who cared to examine the text.


In the sense ‘be the author of,’ the verb author is objected to by some traditionalists, who regard it as an awkward or pretentious substitute for write or compose. It is widespread and well established, though, especially in North America, and has been in use since the end of the 16th century.


Middle English (in the sense 'a person who invents or causes something'): from Old French autor, from Latin auctor, from augere 'increase, originate, promote'. The spelling with th arose in the 15th century, and perhaps became established under the influence of authentic.

  • In medieval English the author of something was the person who originated, invented, or caused it. God was sometimes described as ‘the Author of all’. The word came into English via Old French from Latin augere ‘to increase or originate’. ( See also auction.) In time author came to be applied specifically to the composer of a book or other piece of writing. An authority (Middle English) was thus once the originator of something.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: au·thor

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