Authority
Authority Au*thor"i*ty, n.; pl. {Authorities}. [OE. autorite, auctorite, F. autorit['e], fr. L. auctoritas, fr. auctor. See {Author}, n.] 1. Legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; power exercised buy a person in virtue of his office or trust; dominion; jurisdiction; authorization; as, the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children; the authority of a court. [1913 Webster]

Thus can the demigod, Authority, Make us pay down for our offense. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

By what authority doest thou these things ? --Matt. xxi. 23. [1913 Webster]

2. Government; the persons or the body exercising power or command; as, the local authorities of the States; the military authorities. [Chiefly in the plural.] [1913 Webster]

3. The power derived from opinion, respect, or esteem; influence of character, office, or station, or mental or moral superiority, and the like; claim to be believed or obeyed; as, an historian of no authority; a magistrate of great authority. [1913 Webster]

4. That which, or one who, is claimed or appealed to in support of opinions, actions, measures, etc. Hence: (a) Testimony; witness. ``And on that high authority had believed.'' --Milton. (b) A precedent; a decision of a court, an official declaration, or an opinion, saying, or statement worthy to be taken as a precedent. (c) A book containing such a statement or opinion, or the author of the book. (d) Justification; warrant. [1913 Webster]

Wilt thou be glass wherein it shall discern Authority for sin, warrant for blame. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • authority — au·thor·i·ty n pl ties 1: an official decision of a court used esp. as a precedent 2 a: a power to act esp. over others that derives from status, position, or office the authority of the president; also: jurisdiction b: the power to act …   Law dictionary

  • authority — [ə thôr′ə tē, əthär′ə tē] n. pl. authorities [ME autorite < OFr autorité, auctorité < L auctoritas < auctor, AUTHOR] 1. a) the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction b) the… …   English World dictionary

  • authority — (n.) early 13c., autorite book or quotation that settles an argument, from O.Fr. auctorité authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures (12c.; Mod.Fr. autorité), from L. auctoritatem (nom. auctoritas) invention, advice …   Etymology dictionary

  • authority — [n1] power, control ascendancy, authorization, beef*, charge, clout*, command, credit, domination, dominion, edge, esteem, force, goods*, government, guts*, influence, juice*, jump, jurisdiction, leg up*, license, mastery, might, might and main* …   New thesaurus

  • authority — /auˈtɔriti, ingl. ɔːˈθHrɪtɪ/ [lett. «autorità»] s. f. inv. autorità, organo di vigilanza …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • authority — 1 *power, jurisdiction, command, control, dominion, sway Analogous words: ascendancy, *supremacy: government, ruling or rule (see corresponding verbs at GOVERN) 2 *influence, weight, credit, prestige Analogous words: exemplar, ideal, standard, p …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • authority — ► NOUN (pl. authorities) 1) the power or right to give orders and enforce obedience. 2) a person or organization having official power. 3) recognized knowledge or expertise. 4) an authoritative person or book. ORIGIN Old French autorite, from… …   English terms dictionary

  • Authority — In politics, authority (Latin auctoritas , used in Roman law as opposed to potestas and imperium ) is often used interchangeably with the term power . However, their meanings differ: while power refers to the ability to achieve certain ends,… …   Wikipedia

  • authority — A government or public agency created to perform a single function or a restricted group of related activities. Usually, such units are financed from service charges, fees, and tolls, but in some instances they also have taxing powers. An… …   Financial and business terms

  • authority — n. control power 1) to assume; delegate; demonstrate, show; establish; exercise, wield; invoke authority 2) to defy; deny, reject; undermine authority 3) absolute, complete, full, supreme, unquestioned; parental authority 4) authority for; over… …   Combinatory dictionary

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