au·​then·​tic ə-ˈthen-tik How to pronounce authentic (audio)
: 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
: 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
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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web According to Pearson and his team of researchers, the coins contain elements that match authentic Roman coins, suggesting Sponsian was a real emperor after all. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 26 Nov. 2022 For decades, The Venetian became a social hub for local Italian-Americans and others who wanted authentic food from the old country. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 21 Nov. 2022 The restaurant that serves authentic Cajun food is located at 125 Inverness Plaza in Birmingham. Ben Flanagan |, al, 12 Oct. 2022 No community is complete without a solid place to get authentic Mexican food, and luckily for Bellaire, chef Carlos Abedrop relocated his Saltillo Mexican Kitchen here from Montrose in 2015. Emma Balter, Chron, 12 Oct. 2022 The Art Kitchen serves the best authentic Thai food in the area. Joanne Shurvell, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 The family friendly festival continues today and Oct. 7-9, featuring authentic food, German beers, folk dances, games, contests and vendor booths. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2022 Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, a staple for German cuisine in Sanford, hosts its annual Oktoberfest with authentic food, beer, music, dance and folk costumes at the Sanford Civic Center. Patrick Connolly, Orlando Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2022 Caribbean Rum & Food Festival Enjoy authentic food, cocktails and exports at the fifth annual Caribbean Rum & Food Festival. Maya Homan,, 14 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'authentic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English autentik, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos, from authentēs perpetrator, master, from aut- + -hentēs (akin to Greek anyein to accomplish, Sanskrit sanoti he gains)

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 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on authentic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.