au·​then·​ti·​cate ə-ˈthen-ti-ˌkāt How to pronounce authenticate (audio)
authenticated; authenticating

transitive verb

: to prove or serve to prove to be real, true, or genuine
authenticate a document
authenticator noun
Choose the Right Synonym for authenticate

confirm, corroborate, substantiate, verify, authenticate, validate mean to attest to the truth or validity of something.

confirm implies the removing of doubts by an authoritative statement or indisputable fact.

confirmed the reports

corroborate suggests the strengthening of what is already partly established.

witnesses corroborated his story

substantiate implies the offering of evidence that sustains the contention.

the claims have yet to be substantiated

verify implies the establishing of correspondence of actual facts or details with those proposed or guessed at.

all statements of fact in the article have been verified

authenticate implies establishing genuineness by adducing legal or official documents or expert opinion.

handwriting experts authenticated the diaries

validate implies establishing validity by authoritative affirmation or by factual proof.

validated the hypothesis by experiments

Examples of authenticate in a Sentence

The signature has been authenticated. a jeweler authenticated the diamond as real
Recent Examples on the Web Having spent years preparing to detect fake images, these specialists were called on to authenticate real ones. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 13 Nov. 2023 Utilizing age verification software or services that help authenticate the customer's age during the online purchasing process. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 14 Oct. 2023 Identifiers used to authenticate users, for example, should be kept separate from identifiers used to connect their devices to the network. Barath Raghavan, IEEE Spectrum, 5 Nov. 2023 Another is to regularly rotate access tokens used to authenticate to service accounts. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2023 While logged in, the threat actor updated what’s known as an IDP (identity provider), used to authenticate to a production environment provided by Google. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 23 Oct. 2023 The task is taking a particular toll on journalists whose specific roles are tasked with surfacing video and images from the war and subsequent humanitarian disaster and authenticating the imagery for use in reporting. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 19 Oct. 2023 This will involve unlocking your device to authenticate yourself. Tatum Hunter, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2023 Although the system is designed to authenticate IDs in the Apple Wallet app, there’s a chance TSA officers might still need to view your physical ID, which could cause a snag in the process if it’s lost. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin authenticātus, past participle of authenticāre "to stamp as genuine or authoritative," derivative of Latin authenticus "original (of documents)" — more at authentic

Note: Compare as a secondary source Middle French autentiquer "to guarantee that something conforms to a norm."

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of authenticate was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near authenticate

Cite this Entry

“Authenticate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​then·​ti·​cate ə-ˈthent-i-ˌkāt How to pronounce authenticate (audio)
authenticated; authenticating
: to prove or serve to prove that something is authentic
authentication noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
authenticated; authenticating
: to prove or serve to prove that (something) is genuine
especially : to prove that (an item of evidence) is genuine for the purpose of establishing admissibility
: to make (a written instrument) valid and effective by marking especially with one's signature
authenticate a check

More from Merriam-Webster on authenticate

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