au·​then·​tic ə-ˈthen-tik How to pronounce authentic (audio)
: not false or imitation : real, actual
an authentic cockney accent
: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character
is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact
paints an authentic picture of our society
: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features
an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse
: made or done the same way as an original
authentic Mexican fare
of a church mode : ranging upward from the keynote compare plagal sense 1
of a cadence : progressing from the dominant chord to the tonic compare plagal sense 2
obsolete : authoritative
authentically adverb
authenticity noun
Choose the Right Synonym for authentic

authentic, genuine, bona fide mean being actually and exactly what is claimed.

authentic implies being fully trustworthy as according with fact

an authentic account of the perilous journey

; it can also stress painstaking or faithful imitation of an original.

an authentic reproduction
authentic Vietnamese cuisine

genuine implies actual character not counterfeited, imitated, or adulterated

genuine piety
genuine maple syrup

; it also connotes definite origin from a source.

a genuine Mark Twain autograph

bona fide implies good faith and sincerity of intention.

a bona fide offer for the stock

Examples of authentic in a Sentence

In 1879 expert opinion was unanimous in rejecting Sautuola's timid suggestion that the ceiling paintings in his family's cave were made by the same prehistoric hunters whose stone and bone artifacts he had been collecting from the cave floor. He was accused of forgery and not until 1902, when discovery of similar paintings in several French caves supported Sautuola's claim, did experts agree that they were authentic relics of Paleolithic times. William H. McNeill, New York Review, 19 Oct. 2006
"If I did authentic Japanese food here, no one would understand," says Masaharu Morimoto, whose idiosyncratic creations dazzle as many as 300 diners a night at his eponymous Philadelphia restaurant. "Anything I do here is going to be an Americanization of Japanese cuisine." The ponytailed Morimoto of Iron Chef fame has been expanding the boundaries of Japanese cuisine his entire career, starting at his own sushi bar in Hiroshima, Japan … Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, 31 Mar. 2005
But before we could leave, the old guy had to have his pint with the regulars at the Regulator. Part of his routine. All the staff were from Ireland (the real Ireland), and all the walls were paneled with authentic oak. Michael Kandel, Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 2004
According to Lia, the document seems authentic, though she emphasizes that it contains no specific attack orders … Aparisim Ghosh, Time, 22 Mar. 2004
We saw authentic examples of ancient Roman sculpture. Experts have confirmed that the signature on the letter is authentic. The witness provided an authentic record of what actually took place. She prepared a very authentic Mexican meal. The building is an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse.
Recent Examples on the Web Be bold, be authentic, and let the blessings flow in for you this month! Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 July 2024 According to Atkins, trying to nail the feel of an authentic live show was the starting point. Andrew Webster, The Verge, 29 June 2024 An ability to tell authentic stories about Detroit that makes listeners come back for more And true Detroiters, like Sam Washington Jr., the proud caretaker of the hallowed St. Cecilia basketball legacy in Detroit, are expert storytellers. Scott Talley, Detroit Free Press, 29 June 2024 Other shout-outs go to Derek R. Hill’s authentic production design and John Debney’s stirring score. Pete Hammond, Deadline, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for authentic 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'authentic.' 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 autentik, auctentyke, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French autentik, autentique, borrowed from Medieval Latin autenticus, authenticus, auctenticus "original, genuine (of a document), authoritative, approved by authority," going back to Latin authenticus "original (of a document)," borrowed from Greek authentikós "warranted as genuine, original, authoritative," probably from authentía "absolute sway, authority" (from authéntēs "doer, master" + -ia -ia entry 1) + -ikos -ic entry 1; authéntēs, in earlier Greek "killer, murderer, perpetrator of a deed," from aut- aut- + -hentēs, from hen- (going back to Indo-European *senh2-, full-grade ablaut of zero-grade *sn̥-ne-h2, whence Greek ánymi, anýnai "to complete, achieve, perpetrate") + -tēs, agent suffix

Note: Greek authentikós and authentía/-eía first appear in non-literary sources of the first centuries A.D., whence their adaptation into Latin, and go on to see considerable elaboration in patristic and Byzantine Greek. The base of these words, the agent noun authéntēs, had rather disparate senses in ancient Greek. The earliest, attested in Herodotus and the Attic tragedians, is "killer, murderer," apparently generalized in Hellenistic Greek to "perpetrator (of a crime)" and then "doer, master," whence the derivatives based on the notion of authority. The etymological sense of the word, however, supported by Sophocles' autoéntēs, is "person accomplishing something on their own," which is not far from the later meaning "doer." The specific application to murder was perhaps originally a euphemism or a legal usage, or, somewhat less likely, by association with the verb theínein "to strike, kill." — Several Indo-European congeners of Greek ánymi have been proposed, as Sanskrit sanóti "(s/he) gains, obtains," ásanat "has gained," Avestan hanāt̰ "will obtain," Hittite šanḫ- "seek, look for" (see further in Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben).

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

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

Dictionary Entries Near authentic

Cite this Entry

“Authentic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


au·​then·​tic ə-ˈthent-ik How to pronounce authentic (audio)
: being really what it seems to be : genuine
authentic examples of Viking jewelry
: made to be or look just like an original
authentic colonial costumes
authentic French-style mustard
authentically adverb
authenticity noun

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