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

Keep scrolling for more

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


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yesterday, the 33-year-old model, author, and mother of two made a point of dedicating an Instagram post to her #MyWishForMoms initiative, which raises awareness around maternal mental health. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why Chrissy Teigen’s Nude Pregnancy Snap Was a Mother’s Day Mic-Drop," 13 May 2019 The author, 71, has written 179 books, which have been translated into 43 languages. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "How The Hell Has Danielle Steel Managed to Write 179 Books?," 9 May 2019 Gretchen Lidicker is the author of CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets and the forthcoming Magnesium: Everyday Secrets (available April 30, 2019). Gretchen Lidicker, Marie Claire, "CBD Completely Changed How I Handled My Anxiety," 18 Apr. 2019 Most Read Stories Lorene Edwards Forkner is an author, speaker and editor. Lorene Edwards Forkner, The Seattle Times, "Richard Hartlage composes kaleidoscopic landscapes of bulbs — for Chihuly Garden and Glass, and his home," 13 Apr. 2019 The Iraq fiasco had multiple authors, but the distinctive neoconservative contribution is a peculiar brand of generically pro-war thinking. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The Weekly Standard’s demise is a reminder that there are some ideas worse than Trumpism," 5 Dec. 2018 Just in time for 4/20, budding cannabis lifestyle brand Higher Standards is releasing a collaboration with renowned potter, designer, and author Jonathan Adler. Jennifer Milne, ELLE Decor, "In Time for 4/20, the Ultimate and Uber-Chic Weed Accessories from Jonathan Adler," 19 Apr. 2019 Fosse had previously been married to his dance partner Mary Ann Niles; McCracken's first husband was Jack Dunphy, an author who would go on to become Truman Capote's longterm partner. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Joan McCracken Was More than Bob Fosse's Second Wife," 17 Apr. 2019 This approach was confirmed by Katharine Hayhoe, a scientist who helped author this section. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Trump administration organizes pushback against its own climate report," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Scanlan himself co-authored a 2012 study on weighted blankets and anxiety published in the journal Australasian Psychiatry. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Do Weighted Blankets Even Do Anything for Anxiety?," 7 May 2019 And as Farrow and Mayer note (Mayer co-authored a 1994 book with Jill Abramson on the Thomas confirmation hearings), three women were willing to testify in support of Hill’s account, but Biden failed to call them. Anna North, Vox, "The striking parallels between Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas," 14 Sep. 2018 Eggleston co-authored a 2016 report published online in the Annals of Emergency that described two men who died after ingesting large amounts of loperamide. The Washington Post,, "Getting high from Imodium? FDA fights diarrhea medicine called 'poor man's methadone'," 30 Jan. 2018 Last year, Hart and Lloyd co-authored a beautiful cookbook with two other women who run the farm: Lloyd’s daughter, Jennifer Lloyd-Karr, and Elizabeth Young. Catherine M. Allchin, The Seattle Times, "Meals at Stowel Lake Farm celebrate its organic vegetable garden, and its intergenerational community," 5 Feb. 2019 Alyson Stoner Creates the Playlist to Her Life InterACT co-authored the legislation with Equality California and Senator Scott Wiener. Kitty Stryker, Teen Vogue, "California Is the First State to Condemn Intersex Genital Mutilation," 29 Aug. 2018 Snyder authored one of the greatest turnaround jobs in sports history, inheriting a program that had won 299 games in its first 93 years. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Bill Snyder remembers roots at dedication in his name," 12 July 2018 Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill authored a friend of the court brief signed by 15 other states urging the court to rule that Louisiana can declare Planned Parenthood unqualified to receive Medicaid reimbursements. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Supreme Court opening: Indiana's Amy Coney Barrett a favorite of grassroots conservatives," 8 July 2018 The group has authored studies about police use-of-force incidents and offered guidelines about community policing and crime prevention. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Phoenix police gets go-ahead for $149K study into police shootings as record pace continues," 5 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about author

Statistics for author

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for author

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!