[uh-thawr-i-tey-tiv, uh-thor-]
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  1. having due authority; having the sanction or weight of authority: an authoritative opinion.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for authoritatively


Examples from the Web for authoritatively

Contemporary Examples of authoritatively

Historical Examples of authoritatively

  • "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.

British Dictionary definitions for authoritatively


  1. recognized or accepted as being true or reliablean authoritative article on drugs
  2. exercising or asserting authority; commandingan authoritative manner
  3. 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 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