auc·​to·​ri·​al ȯk-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce auctorial (audio)
: of or relating to an author

Did you know?

In ancient Rome, auctioneers, grantors, and vendors were known as "auctors." The title is based on the Latin verb augēre, meaning "to promote" or "to increase." The word auctor, which was also used for a person who creates something, passed through Anglo-French and Middle English, eventually evolving (somewhat perplexingly) into the Modern English word author. English writers dug up "auctor" again in the early 19th century to form the adjective "auctorial." The coinage was a somewhat surprising one, given that the word authorial had been firmly established in English for over a quarter of a century. Today, "authorial" is the more common of the two words, but modern-day wordsmiths continue to put "auctorial" to use on occasion.

Word History


Latin auctor "originator, author entry 1" + -ial

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of auctorial was in 1821


Dictionary Entries Near auctorial

Cite this Entry

“Auctorial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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