Definition of AUTHORITY

a person with a high level of knowledge or skill in a field <the leading authority on neural anatomy>
Synonyms ace, adept, artist, authority, cognoscente, connoisseur, crackerjack (also crackajack), dab [chiefly British], dab hand [chiefly British], fiend, geek, guru, hand, hotshot, maestro, master, maven (also mavin), meister, past master, proficient, scholar, shark, sharp, virtuoso, whiz, wizard
lawful control over the affairs of a political unit (as a nation) <the sheriff had authority over the whole county>
the power to direct the thinking or behavior of others usually indirectly <speaks with a persuasive authority on matters of public health>
the right or means to command or control others <by the authority vested in me, I now pronounce you married>
Near Antonyms helplessness, weakness
something (as a belief) that serves as the basis for another thing <I had good authority to believe that the information was correct>
something mentioned in a text as providing related and especially supporting information <the Bible is the sole authority for his impassioned defense of creationism>
Synonyms authority, source
the capacity to persuade <a strict grammarian whose pronouncements carried plenty of authority with my third-grade English teacher>

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up authority? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More