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au·​thor ˈȯ-thər How to pronounce author (audio)
: the writer of a literary work (such as a book)
a famous author
: one that originates or creates something : source
software authors
film authors
the author of this crime
capitalized : god sense 1
authorial adjective


2 of 2


authored; authoring; authors

transitive verb

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

Example Sentences

Noun 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. Verb authored a new biography of Thomas Jefferson
Recent Examples on the Web
The study’s authors say emissions generated by fossil fuel extraction and the burning of those fuels have raised temperatures, making wild spaces drier and the resulting fires more destructive. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2023 Vivek Wadhwa is an academic, entrepreneur, and author. Mauritz Kop, Fortune, 16 May 2023 The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 16 May 2023 Harry just couldn’t see himself with her, the author reported. Town & Country, 16 May 2023 Another title that can’t leave the premises is an ordinary looking, modern hardcover on investing written by a still-living author. Spencer Jakab,, 15 May 2023 The businesswoman and best-selling author landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s iconic swimsuit issue for 2023. oregonlive, 15 May 2023 On Sunday, the Live Wire author, 52, shared a hilarious image on her Instagram of her three kids recreating an old family photo with their mom. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 15 May 2023 The Norwegian author’s enigmatic 1991 novel, a left-field success, is about a 14-year-old girl who, in the course of learning the history of philosophy, realizes her entire world is a literary construction. David Marchese David Marchesephotograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 14 May 2023
The paper was authored by John Lott, whose pro-gun findings have elicited criticism over the years. Politifact Staff Writer, Dallas News, 10 May 2023 It has been stretched thin by its growing climate burden, said state Senator Michael Barrett, who authored the Senate bill and chairs the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, which oversees the DPU. John Hilliard,, 9 May 2023 Her statement caused an uproar, and some of her former students authored a letter in November demanding her resignation. Olga R. Rodriguez, Fortune, 6 May 2023 It’s been a spell since the Pirates authored many of these. Tony Blengino, Forbes, 3 May 2023 In addition to authoring the report, Mulligan presented its key findings at IMS Ibiza on April 26. Rachel Narozniak, Variety, 26 Apr. 2023 The biggest deal Yzerman handled in-season was inking captain Dylan Larkin to an eight-year, $69.6 million extension, the richest contract Yzerman has authored since being named Wings GM in April 2019. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 25 Apr. 2023 Banks provided $673 billion to finance the fossil fuel industry last year, even as oil and gas companiesmade $4 trillion in profits, according to the annual Banking on Climate Chaos report, authored by a group of nonprofits including The Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 20 Apr. 2023 The musician authored a children's book, Sloop John B: A Pirate's Tale, in 2005, and released one solo album, A Postcard From California, in 2010. Nicole Briese, Peoplemag, 7 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English autour, auctour, actour "originator, creator, authoritative source, writer," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French auctur, auttour, actour "originator, creator, instigator, party, authority, writer," borrowed from Latin auctōr-, auctor "principal in a sale, person entitled to take action or authorize, authoritative writer, originator, creator, agent, founder," from augēre "to increase" + -tor, agent suffix — more at eke entry 2

Note: Variants with medial -th-, as aucthour, authour, etc., become current in the sixteenth century and lead to spelling pronunciations with [θ] in the seventeenth century. The spellings are presumed to reflect association with authentic and its Latin and Greek sources, as author in the sense "the first beginner and mover of anything," as Samuel Johnson put it, is the ultimate guarantor of authenticity.


derivative of author entry 1

First Known Use


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


1597, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near author

Cite this Entry

“Author.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a person who creates a written work : writer
: one that starts or creates
author of a plan for education
author verb

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