au·​then·​ti·​cate | \ə-ˈthen-ti-ˌkāt, ȯ-\
authenticated; authenticating

Definition of authenticate 

transitive verb

: to prove or serve to prove to be real, true, or genuine authenticate a document

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Other Words from authenticate

authentication \ ə-​ˌthen-​ti-​ˈkā-​shən , ȯ-​ \ noun
authenticator \ -​ˈthen-​ti-​ˌkā-​tər \ 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

Peter Winter-Smith, a researcher at security firm NCC who discovered the bug and privately reported it to libssh developers, told Ars the vulnerability is the result of libssh using the same machine state to authenticate clients and servers. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open," 17 Oct. 2018 It’s unclear if new ways to authenticate images or detect fakes will keep pace with deepfake technology. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "I never said that! High-tech deception of ‘deepfake’ videos," 3 July 2018 In the version authenticated by Jefferson, the first comma disappears, transforming the words to a more typical—yet still grammatically confusing—dependent clause followed by an independent clause. Kurt Eichenwald, Newsweek, "Americans Don't Have the Right to Bear Just Any Arms," 16 July 2015 Two-factor authentication is a security tool that prompts users to authenticate themselves using a mobile device in addition to a password. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Ancestry Site MyHeritage Says 92 Million User Accounts Have Been Compromised," 5 June 2018 It’s unclear if new ways to authenticate images or detect fakes will keep pace with deepfake technology. Deb Riechmann, The Seattle Times, "I never said that! High-tech deception of ‘deepfake’ videos," 3 July 2018 It’s unclear if new ways to authenticate images or detect fakes will keep pace with deepfake technology. Deb Riechmann,, "‘I never said that!’ The high-tech deception of ‘deepfake’ videos," 2 July 2018 Based on the binding dimensions (which were a perfect fit) and remnants of the original sewing, the consultant was able to authenticate Parsons’s letter. Deanna Paul, Washington Post, "The journey of a stolen Christopher Columbus letter recounting his voyage to America," 15 June 2018 Folklorists refer to these stories as legends because many people believe them to be true, even though the stories cannot be authenticated. James Deutsch, Smithsonian, "Some Stories About George Washington Are Just Too Good to Be True," 17 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of authenticate

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for authenticate

see authentic

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for authenticate

The first known use of authenticate was in 1613

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More Definitions for authenticate



English Language Learners Definition of authenticate

: to prove that something is real, true, or genuine : to prove that something is authentic


au·​then·​ti·​cate | \ə-ˈthen-ti-ˌkāt \
authenticated; authenticating

Kids Definition of authenticate

: to prove or serve as proof that something is authentic


transitive verb
authenticated; authenticating

Legal Definition of authenticate 

1 : 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

2 : to make (a written instrument) valid and effective by marking especially with one's signature authenticate a check

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a private place of worship

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