[uh-thawr-i-tey-tiv, uh-thor-]


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 formsau·thor·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbau·thor·i·ta·tive·ness, nounnon·au·thor·i·ta·tive, adjectivenon·au·thor·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbnon·au·thor·i·ta·tive·ness, nounun·au·thor·i·ta·tive, adjectiveun·au·thor·i·ta·tive·ly, adverbun·au·thor·i·ta·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for authoritative Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for authoritative

Contemporary Examples of authoritative

Historical Examples of authoritative

  • "But you must understand this," Mary went on, with an authoritative note in her voice.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • She had not experimented to an authoritative extent with the desert pickles.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • He counted very much on me, but he was authoritative and persistent.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • But, placid as she was, my mother was authoritative, and could not endure any kind of constraint.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • "I will stay," said Artois, with a sudden return of his authoritative manner.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for authoritative



recognized or accepted as being true or reliablean authoritative article on drugs
exercising or asserting authority; commandingan authoritative manner
possessing or supported by authority; officialan authoritative communiqué
Derived Formsauthoritatively, adverbauthoritativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for authoritative

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