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Definition of "authority" []

  • The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge. (noun)
  • One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials: land titles issued by the civil authority. (noun)
  • Power assigned to another; authorization: Deputies were given authority to make arrests. (noun)
  • A public agency or corporation with administrative powers in a specified field: a city transit authority. (noun)
  • An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority. (noun)
  • The power or right to control, judge, or prohibit the actions of others (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • A person or group of people having this power, such as a government, police force, etc (noun)
  • A position that commands such a power or right (often in the phrase in authority) (noun)
  • Such a power or right delegated, esp from one person to another; authorization (noun)
  • The ability to influence or control others (noun)
  • An expert or an authoritative written work in a particular field (noun)
  • Evidence or testimony (noun)
  • Confidence resulting from great expertise (noun)
  • A public board or corporation exercising governmental authority in administering some enterprise (noun)
  • A judicial decision, statute, or rule of law that establishes a principle; precedent (noun)
  • Legal permission granted to a person to perform a specified act (noun)

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Use "authority" in a sentence
  • "On questions of fact, therefore, even the Pope could be mistaken, and it is inappropriate to appeal to any authority apart from one's senses to decide a factual question: ˜authority is useless in that context™ (Preface to the Traité du vide: I, 452)."
  • "The acts of the government of the Confederation in accepting cessions from several of the States of unoccupied territory, claimed by them in the west, and organizing territorial governments therein, were declared in 1788, by as high authority as James Madison, to be "_without the least color of constitutional authority_.""
  • "So a mother can not in any way more effectually undermine her authority, as _authority_, than by attempting to eke out its force by arguments and coaxings."