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[aw-then-tik] /ɔˈθɛn tɪk/
not false or copied; genuine; real:
an authentic antique.
having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified:
an authentic document of the Middle Ages; an authentic work of the old master.
representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified:
a story told in the authentic voice of a Midwestern farmer; a senator’s speech that sounded authentic.
entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy:
an authentic report on poverty in Africa.
Law. executed with all due formalities:
an authentic deed.
  1. (of a church mode) having a range extending from the final to the octave above.
    Compare plagal.
  2. (of a cadence) consisting of a dominant harmony followed by a tonic.
Obsolete. authoritative.
Origin of authentic
1300-50; < Late Latin authenticus “coming from the author, genuine” (also in the neuter, a noun “original document, the original”) < Greek authentikós “original, primary, at first hand,” equivalent to authént(ēs) “one who does things himself” (aut- aut- +-hentēs “doer”) + -ikos -ic; replacing Middle English autentik (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin autenticus
Related forms
authentically, adverb
nonauthentic, adjective
quasi-authentic, adjective
quasi-authentically, adverb
unauthentic, adjective
Synonym Study
1–4. Authentic, genuine, real, veritable share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. Authentic carries the connotation of authoritative confirmation that things or people are what they are claimed or appear to be: an authentic Rembrandt sketch; an authentic smile. Genuine refers to objects or persons having the characteristics or source claimed or implied: a genuine ivory carving. Real, the most general of these terms, refers to innate or actual—as opposed to ostensible—nature or character: In real life, plans often miscarry. A real diamond will cut glass. Veritable, derived from the Latin word for truth, suggests the general truthfulness but not necessarily the literal or strict correspondence with reality of that which it describes; it is often used metaphorically: a veritable wizard of finance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unauthentic
Historical Examples
  • A general review of the Ossian question, in which the unauthentic character of the poems is asserted.

    Ossian in Germany Rudolf Tombo
  • Do you consider the names of the seventy-two elders also unauthentic?

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
  • There are numerous portraits of St Louis, but they are unauthentic and contradictory.

  • Legends are told of Robin's scorned defiance of the laws, but they are intangible and unauthentic.

    Robin Hood Paul Creswick
  • For the view that they are unauthentic see Holtzmann, Hand-comm.

  • In all of them there was unauthentic matter, accepted as if its pseudo-authorship or pseudo-source were genuine.

  • But it is only their connection with the West Saxon house that is unauthentic.

    Beowulf R. W. Chambers
  • But Sir W. Muir chooses the latter uncertain and unauthentic traditions.

  • If the history of William Tell itself is unauthentic, we must not demand authenticity for its visible memorials and sites.

    The Lake of Lucerne Joseph E. Morris
  • Did Douglas misinterpret these articles, or did he chance upon an unauthentic version of them?

    Stephen A. Douglas Allen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for unauthentic


of undisputed origin or authorship; genuine: an authentic signature
accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable: an authentic account
(of a deed or other document) duly executed, any necessary legal formalities having been complied with
  1. using period instruments and historically researched scores and playing techniques in an attempt to perform a piece as it would have been played at the time it was written
  2. (in combination): an authentic-instrument performance
  1. (of a mode as used in Gregorian chant) commencing on the final and ending an octave higher
  2. (of a cadence) progressing from a dominant to a tonic chord
Compare plagal
Derived Forms
authentically, adverb
authenticity (ˌɔːθɛnˈtɪsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin authenticus coming from the author, from Greek authentikos, from authentēs one who acts independently, from auto- + hentēs a doer
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 unauthentic



mid-14c., "authoritative," from Old French autentique (13c., Modern French authentique) "authentic; canonical," and directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos "original, genuine, principal," from authentes "one acting on one's own authority," from autos "self" (see auto-) + hentes "doer, being," from PIE *sene- "to accomplish, achieve." Sense of "entitled to acceptance as factual" is first recorded mid-14c.

Traditionally (at least since the 18c.), authentic implies that the contents of the thing in question correspond to the facts and are not fictitious; genuine implies that the reputed author is the real one; though this distinction is not etymological and is not always now recognized.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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