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[uh-thawr-i-tey-tiv, uh-thor-] /əˈθɔr ɪˌteɪ tɪv, əˈθɒr-/
having due authority; having the sanction or weight of authority:
an authoritative opinion.
substantiated or supported by documentary evidence and accepted by most authorities in a field:
an authoritative edition of Shakespeare; an authoritative treatment of a subject.
having an air of authority; accustomed to exercising authority; positive; peremptory; dictatorial:
said with an authoritative air.
Origin of authoritative
First recorded in 1595-1605; authorit(y) + -ative
Related forms
authoritatively, adverb
authoritativeness, noun
nonauthoritative, adjective
nonauthoritatively, adverb
nonauthoritativeness, noun
unauthoritative, adjective
unauthoritatively, adverb
unauthoritativeness, noun
1. official. 3. dogmatic, authoritarian. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for authoritatively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Both of you may stop now," said Professor Maxon authoritatively.

    The Monster Men Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • “Go around to Helen, and—take that gun,” she said authoritatively.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • She was moving towards the door when Artois stopped her authoritatively.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • "Stay—I cannot permit this," interposed the Chief Justice, authoritatively.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • "The cause of failure was very different," said O'Hallo-ran, authoritatively.

  • "You must come back to your ship with me," said Lingard, authoritatively.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • "I'll speak to you after all's over," said Father Dennis authoritatively in Dan's ear.

    Soldiers Three, Part II. Rudyard Kipling
  • "They'll never stand for her going on the stage," said Quin authoritatively.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
British Dictionary definitions for authoritatively


recognized or accepted as being true or reliable: an authoritative article on drugs
exercising or asserting authority; commanding: an authoritative manner
possessing or supported by authority; official: an authoritative communiqué
Derived Forms
authoritatively, adverb
authoritativeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for authoritatively



c.1600, "dictatorial" (a sense now restricted to authoritarian), from Medieval Latin authoritativus (see authority). Meaning "possessing authority" is recorded from 1650s; that of "proceeding from proper authority" is from 1809. Related: Authoritatively; authoritativeness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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