WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
au•thor•i•ty /əˈθɔrɪti, əˈθɑr-/USA pronunciation   n., pl.  -ties. 
  1. [uncountable] the right, power, or ability to control, command, or decide.
  2. [uncountable] power or right officially given;
  3. Government[countable] a body of persons to whom the right to command or decide issues is given, as a government.
  4. Government Usually, authorities. [plural] persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law;
    government:[countable]surrendered to the authorities.
  5. an accepted source of information or advice:[countable]That book is the authority on the subject.
  6. [countable] an expert on a subject: Ask questions of a real authority on baseball.
  7. [uncountable] forcefulness;
    showing strong belief or conviction: speaks with authority when he lectures.
  1. have it on good authority, [+ that clause] to have information from a reliable source:I have it on good authority that she is about to announce her candidacy.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
au•thor•i•ty  (ə thôri tē, ə thor-),USA pronunciation n., pl.  -ties. 
  1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes;
    the right to control, command, or determine.
  2. a power or right delegated or given;
    authorization:Who has the authority to grant permission?
  3. Governmenta person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.
  4. GovernmentUsually,  authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law;
    government:They finally persuaded the authorities that they were not involved in espionage.
  5. an accepted source of information, advice, etc.
  6. a quotation or citation from such a source.
  7. an expert on a subject:He is an authority on baseball.
  8. persuasive force;
    conviction:She spoke with authority.
  9. a statute, court rule, or judicial decision that establishes a rule or principle of law;
    a ruling.
  10. right to respect or acceptance of one's word, command, thought, etc.;
    commanding influence:the authority of a parent; the authority of a great writer.
  11. mastery in execution or performance, as of a work of art or literature or a piece of music.
  12. a warrant for action;
  13. testimony;
  • Latin. See author, -ity
  • Old French
  • Latin auctōritās; replacing Middle English autorite
  • earlier auct(h)oritie 1200–50
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rule, power, sway.
      Authority, control, influence denote a power or right to direct the actions or thoughts of others.
      Authority is a power or right, usually because of rank or office, to issue commands and to punish for violations:to have authority over subordinates.Control is either power or influence applied to the complete and successful direction or manipulation of persons or things:to be in control of a project.Influence is a personal and unofficial power derived from deference of others to one's character, ability, or station;
      it may be exerted unconsciously or may operate through persuasion:to have influence over one's friends.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged sovereign, arbiter.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

authority /ɔːˈθɒrɪtɪ/ n ( pl -ties)
  1. the power or right to control, judge, or prohibit the actions of others
  2. (often plural) a person or group of people having this power, such as a government, police force, etc
  3. a position that commands such a power or right (often in the phrase in authority)
  4. such a power or right delegated, esp from one person to another; authorization: she has his authority
  5. the ability to influence or control others
  6. an expert or an authoritative written work in a particular field
  7. evidence or testimony
  8. confidence resulting from great expertise
  9. (capital when part of a name) a public board or corporation exercising governmental authority in administering some enterprise: Independent Broadcasting Authority
Etymology: 14th Century: from French autorité, from Latin auctōritas, from auctor author

'authority' also found in these entries:

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