noun, plural au·thor·i·ties.
Origin of authority
Examples from the Web for authority
You get these high-profile people that go into prison, and the staff abuse their authority.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But the authority of his name far exceeds that of our own, famous or obscure though we be.
Only two senators opposed the resolution, which the administration later claimed was the authority for a full-scale war.
Too moderate and the more radical groups call you a snitch, jeopardizing your standing and authority at demonstrations.De Blasio and the New York City Protesters Have No Blood on Their Hands|Jacob Siegel|December 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
There is the will of the people; the resolve of the political class; the courage of the media; and the authority of the courts.The U.S. Will Torture Again—and We’re All to Blame|Michael Tomasky|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
When a senator assumes to speak for the President, every senator possesses a public right to demand his authority for so doing.Thirty Years' View (Vol. II of 2)|Thomas Hart Benton
An incident, illustrative of his summary methods of dealing with the insolence of his enemies in authority, occurred at Pensacola.The Battle of New Orleans|Zachary F. Smith
There was no authority in his eyes, not even when he told her not to catch cold.Cecilia|F. Marion Crawford
Are specially promising youths to be set apart from early childhood to prepare themselves for these positions of authority?The Behavior of Crowds|Everett Dean Martin
He was the agent of a vast and centralized authority, an authority against which there could be no opposition.The Shadow|Arthur Stringer
British Dictionary definitions for authority
noun plural -ties
- a judicial decision, statute, or rule of law that establishes a principle; precedent
- legal permission granted to a person to perform a specified act
Word Origin for authority
Word Origin and History for authority
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.