authority

[ uh-thawr-i-tee, uh-thor- ]
/ əˈθɔr ɪ ti, əˈθɒr- /

noun, plural au·thor·i·ties.

Origin of authority

1200–50; earlier auct(h)oritie < Latin auctōritās; replacing Middle English autorite < Old French < L. See author, -ity
Related formsan·ti·au·thor·i·ty, adjective

Synonym study

1. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for authority

British Dictionary definitions for authority

authority

/ (ɔːˈθɒrɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

Word Origin for authority

C14: from French autorité, from Latin auctōritas, from auctor author
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 authority

authority


n.

early 13c., autorite "book or quotation that settles an argument," from Old French auctorité "authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures" (12c.; Modern French autorité), from Latin auctoritatem (nominative auctoritas) "invention, advice, opinion, influence, command," from auctor "master, leader, author" (see author (n.)).

Usually spelled with a -c- in English till 16c., when it was dropped in imitation of the French. Meaning "power to enforce obedience" is from late 14c.; meaning "people in authority" is from 1610s. Authorities "those in charge, those with police powers" is recorded from mid-19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper