au·​thor | \ ˈȯ-thər How to pronounce author (audio) \

Definition of author

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the writer of a literary work (such as a book) a famous author
2a : one that originates or creates something : source software authors film authors the author of this crime
b capitalized : god sense 1


authored; authoring; authors

Definition of author (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be the author of : write a writer who has authored several best sellers

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Other Words from author


authorial \ ȯ-​ˈthȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce authorial (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for author

Synonyms: Noun

litterateur (or littérateur), pen, penman, scribe, scrivener, writer

Synonyms: Verb

pen, scratch (out), scribble, write

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of author in a Sentence


The author of the article didn't check his facts. I enjoyed the book, but I can't remember the name of the author. She is the author of a plan for reforming the school system.


authored a new biography of Thomas Jefferson
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Her family is a huge reason why the author is so drawn to gardening. Megan Stein, Country Living, "This Is Joanna Gaines's Absolute Favorite Flower to Grow," 16 Mar. 2019 Lead author Mark Hatzenbuehler, a professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, is a renowned expert on stigma and health. Robert P. George, WSJ, "Confirmation Bias Hurts Social Science," 5 Mar. 2019 However, there was no control group—and the chief authors of the study were managing partners at the company that made the extract (so, not exactly neutral parties). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Surprise: Celery Juice Will Not Cure All of Your Health Issues," 25 Jan. 2019 Shutterstock The authors are MIT associate professor Jessika Trancik, postdoc Goksin Kavlak, and research scientist James McNerney. David Roberts, Vox, "What made solar panels so cheap? Thank government policy.," 20 Nov. 2018 The author of these proposals is Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), whose congressional district includes the headquarters for Apple and Google. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Silicon Valley congressman Ro Khanna explains his ‘internet bill of rights’," 6 Oct. 2018 Ann Coulter is a writer, author of Resistance Is Futile! Fox News, "Ann Coulter on left's meltdown over Kavanaugh allegation; will Carter Page finally learn why the FBI spied on him?," 19 Sep. 2018 This is far from the first time John has gushed about his kids with the model-author-actress. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "John Legend Is Already Teaching Daughter Luna How to Sing," 27 Mar. 2019 Schumer's husband, Chris Fischer, is a farmer, chef, and co-author of The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook: A Year of Cooking on Martha's Vineyard. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "5 Times Amy Schumer Got Real About Pregnancy in Her Netflix Special 'Growing'," 26 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Goadsby co-authored his first paper on the subject in 1988, and other researchers, including Dodick, joined the effort. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015 The Navy Times received a copy of the report, authored by Rear Admiral Brian Fort and completed just eleven days after the collision. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Secret Probe Into USS Fitzgerald Disaster Revealed a Ship in Appalling Shape," 14 Jan. 2019 But there also are many others authored by supporters of the president, willing to put their reputations on the line in defense of the president’s accomplishments and his right to govern. WSJ, "Trump Gossip Can’t Overshadow His Triumphs," 4 Jan. 2019 Last week, Brown signed a bill authored by Lara into law that decriminalizes sidewalk vending, a business popular with many immigrants. Fox News, "California governor vetoes bills to let noncitizens serve on boards, block immigration arrests in courthouses," 28 Sep. 2018 The robocall effort comes as the California State Assembly prepares to vote this week on the state's net neutrality bill, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Robocalls tell seniors net neutrality raises phone bills by $30 [Updated]," 28 Aug. 2018 Co-authored by Yergin, that report was funded by 20 oil and gas companies. Jie Jenny Zou Of The Center For Public Integrity, The Seattle Times, "How DC unleashed fossil-fuel exports despite climate worries," 16 Oct. 2018 But Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist who co-authored the report, says data for 2017 sends the opposite message: the rate of violent crime fell by 6%. The Economist, "Confusion over immigration and crime is roiling European politics," 28 June 2018 Anna North, Vox's senior politics reporter who covers gender issues and authored the report, told Teen Vogue that the results of the nationally-representative survey of more than 2,500 women weren't necessarily surprising. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "A New Survey Shows Women of All Ages Support #MeToo," 20 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'author.' 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 author


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for author

Noun and Verb

Middle English auctour, from Anglo-French auctor, autor, from Latin auctor promoter, originator, author, from augēre to increase — more at eke

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Statistics for author

Last Updated

19 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for author

The first known use of author was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for author



English Language Learners Definition of author

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has written something especially : a person who has written a book or who writes many books
: a person who starts or creates something (such as a plan or idea)



English Language Learners Definition of author (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be the author of (something, such as a book)


au·​thor | \ ˈȯ-thər How to pronounce author (audio) \

Kids Definition of author

: a person who writes something (as a novel)

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Comments on author

What made you want to look up author? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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