au·​di·​tor ˈȯ-də-tər How to pronounce auditor (audio)
: a person authorized to examine and verify accounts
: one who hears or listens
especially : one who is a member of an audience
: a person who audits a course of study
: a person who hears something (such as a court case) in the capacity of judge

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The auditing of a company's financial records by independent examiners on a regular basis is necessary to prevent "cooking the books", and thus to keep the company honest. We don't normally think of auditors as listening, since looking at and adding up numbers is their basic line of work, but auditors do have to listen to people's explanations, and perhaps that's the historical link. Hearing is more obviously part of another meaning of audit, the kind that college students do when they sit in on a class without taking exams or receiving an official grade.

Examples of auditor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The plan with Oracle is intended to store all U.S. residents' data on servers owned and maintained by Oracle, with oversight from independent auditors. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 30 Nov. 2023 The state law provision that requires annual audits for districts and charter schools also does not include any training requirements for auditors. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2023 The difference between now and Villon’s fourteen-sixties is that his poem’s current auditor is likely to hear its question being posed not metaphorically but as a matter of sobering fact. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 When Manchin was first elected to the Senate in 2010, Democrats held every statewide office in West Virginia: two Senate seats, the governorship, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor and commissioner of agriculture. Nathaniel Rakich, ABC News, 10 Nov. 2023 Detention center staff told the auditor that its video system was faulty and didn’t record what happened. Molly Parker, ProPublica, 8 Nov. 2023 In Derna, state auditors in Tripoli said in a 2021 report, more than $2.3 million allocated for maintaining the two dams was never used. Vivian Yee, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to ramp up efforts to root out fraud within a program meant to help small businesses, ordering staff to finally make improvements that the county’s own auditors had first recommended more than three years ago. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2023 During a meeting of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, Sen. Ben Gilmore, R-Crossett, pressed Pledger about the auditors' conclusions. Michael R. Wickline,, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'auditor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English auditour "hearer, listener, official who examines and verifies accounts," borrowed from Anglo-French auditur, auditour, borrowed from Medieval Latin audītor "hearer, hearer of pleas (in court or Parliament), official who examines accounts," going back to Latin, "hearer, listener, disciple," from audīre "to hear" + -tor, agent suffix — more at audible entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of auditor was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near auditor

Cite this Entry

“Auditor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​di·​tor ˈȯd-ət-ər How to pronounce auditor (audio)
: a person who listens to or hears something or someone
especially : a member of an audience
: a person who audits accounts

Legal Definition


au·​di·​tor ˈȯ-də-tər How to pronounce auditor (audio)
: a person qualified and authorized to examine and verify financial records
: a referee appointed by a court in a civil action
especially : one designated to prepare an account for the court see also master
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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