auc·​to·​ri·​al | \ ȯk-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce auctorial (audio) \

Definition of auctorial

: of or relating to an author

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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.

First Known Use of auctorial

1821, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auctorial

Latin auctor author — more at author

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The first known use of auctorial was in 1821

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Cite this Entry

“Auctorial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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