authority figure


  1. a person whose real or apparent authority over others inspires or demands obedience and emulation:

    Parents, teachers, and police officers are traditional authority figures for children.

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Example Sentences

I never received the support from the authority figures I needed … In each case, they completed the letter of their duty but failed the spirit, and I paid the price of their decisions.

Police in Eden Prairie recommended charging Beskar with a felony, criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, in which a victim between 16 and 18 years old is penetrated by an older authority figure, records show.

Americans have a right to own guns, and a right to associate with whomever they like, but they don’t have a right to commit crimes, including deputizing themselves as authority figures to enforce the law.

No, as the entire movie told me that authority figures don’t care about women’s lives.

From Vox

McDermott’s blunder was emblematic of the bloated entitlement bestowed on every authority figure in college sports, and Sunday’s tournament bracket reveal should highlight that, not obscure it.

Bergeot is perhaps the best known female authority figure in Magic and has spoken out in the past against sexism in the community.

The strongest, frankly dictatorial authority figure I have known would look at me blankly, unable to make even simple decisions.

The universe becomes a chaotic universe if you have a parent or authority figure who just punishes you totally randomly.

Muehl was of course the authority figure, with all resultant perks.

Bert was always seen as an authority figure, for better and worse.


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More About Authority Figure

What is an authority figure?

An authority figure is a person whose power or right over another encourages obedience or emulation, as in The school principal was an engaging authority figure that most of the students looked up to.

An authority figure can anyone who commands or inspires obedience from someone else, whether or not the authority figure has any actual power over that person. Parents and teachers are some of a child’s first authority figures, usually with actual power over a child. Your boss is also an authority figure who usually has actual power over you, as are police and military personnel.

Authority figures might also only seem to have authority over others, because they inspire obedience or emulation. An authority figure might do this through fear, as with someone who is physically strong or aggressive, or through respectability or social influence.

Example: Alvin was a good authority figure for his grandchildren, offering wise advice and teaching them how to treat others.

Where does authority figure come from?

The first records of the term authority figure come from around the 1940s. It combines the English terms authority, meaning “power or right,” and figure, meaning “a representation, character, or personage.”

Authority figures like parents and other guardians, teachers, mentors, local community leaders, and people in positions of influence are considered extremely important to the development of children. Children tend to copy what they see and need to learn what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t. A good authority figure teaches respect for others and shows consideration for those they have authority over while enforcing any power they have over others.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with authority figure

What are some words that often get used in discussing authority figure?

How is authority figure used in real life?

Authority figure is often used in discussions of people’s behavior and whether it is what is expected of them.


Try using authority figure!

Is authority figure used correctly in the following sentence?

Dan wasn’t a very good authority figure because he didn’t follow the rules he and his employees were supposed to follow.




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