adjective au·then·tic \ ə-ˈthen-tik , ȯ- \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of authentic

1 a : worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact
  • paints an authentic picture of our society
b : conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features
  • an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse
c : made or done the same way as an original
  • authentic Mexican fare
2 : not false or imitation : real, actual
  • an authentic cockney accent
3 : true to one's own personality, spirit, or character
  • is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
4 a of a church mode : ranging upward from the keynote — compare plagal 1
b of a cadence : progressing from the dominant chord to the tonic — compare plagal 2
5 obsolete : authoritative


play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


play \ˌȯ-ˌthen-ˈti-sə-tē, -thən-\ noun

Examples of authentic in a Sentence

  1. 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. McNeillNew York Review19 Oct. 2006
  2. "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 SteimanWine Spectator31 Mar. 2005
  3. 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 KandelFantasy & Science FictionOctober/November 2004
  4. According to Lia, the document seems authentic, though she emphasizes that it contains no specific attack orders … —Aparisim GhoshTime22 Mar. 2004
  5. We saw authentic examples of ancient Roman sculpture.

  6. Experts have confirmed that the signature on the letter is authentic.

  7. The witness provided an authentic record of what actually took place.

  8. She prepared a very authentic Mexican meal.

  9. The building is an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse.

Recent Examples of authentic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of authentic

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)

Synonym Discussion of 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

AUTHENTIC Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of authentic for English Language Learners

  • : real or genuine : not copied or false

  • : true and accurate

  • : made to be or look just like an original

AUTHENTIC Defined for Kids


adjective au·then·tic \ ə-ˈthen-tik , ȯ- \

Definition of authentic for Students

: being really what it seems to be : genuine
  • an authentic signature


\-i-kə-lē\ adverb

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