au·​thor | \ ˈȯ-thər \

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 \ 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

Nancy Richardson Fischer is the author of When Elephants Fly. Nancy Richardson Fischer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Power of Not Naming My Disorder," 3 Dec. 2018 Francisca Matteoli is the author of 11 travel books, including Hotel Stories. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018 Damaris Phillips is the author of Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy and the cohost of Southern and Hungry. Damaris Phillips, Woman's Day, "How to Give Back Like Food Network Chef Damaris Phillips This Season," 19 Nov. 2018 Juliet Rieden is author of The Royals in Australia, and Royal Correspondent for The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Tour of Australia Is Crucial to the Future of the Monarchy," 1 Nov. 2018 Along with being successful on the air, Bobby is also the author of two best-selling books: Fail Until You Don't: Fight. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Bobby Bones Joined the Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars' and People Had a Very Strong Reaction," 12 Sep. 2018 Here are 13 people who might be the author of the smoking op-ed. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Why Twitter finally banned Alex Jones and Infowars," 7 Sep. 2018 Email the author at, or use SecureDrop or Signal to securely send messages and files to The Verge without revealing your identity. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Big tobacco just spent $12.8 billion to get a taste of Juul," 20 Dec. 2018 After downsizing to an apartment in Ballard, the author had to make some tough cuts to his Christmas collection — starting with the tree. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Pai's remarks drew an immediate rebuke from California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the net neutrality bill that passed California's legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules “illegal”," 17 Sep. 2018 Last year, Dinour, the academic who studies breastfeeding, co-authored a systematic review of studies of workplace breastfeeding accommodations in the U.S. and abroad and analyzed the effects of various interventions on breastfeeding behavior. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Women Really Quit Breastfeeding," 17 July 2018 Bloomberg also co-authored four young adult novels about horse shows. Kari Barnett,, "Wellington show jumper Georgina Bloomberg to be featured on Horse & Country TV," 10 July 2018 Nelson just co-authored a paper showing that women and non-white judges are more likely to cite other female or non-white jurists in their opinions, thus amplifying diverse voices in a system of justice that was too white for too long. Will Bunch,, "The unbearable whiteness of being Trump's judicial picks | Will Bunch," 10 July 2018 Bucshon also authored a bill in 2015 that would have placed new requirements on physicians wishing to prescribe buprenorpine. Lev Facher, STAT, "As opioids legislation gains steam, efforts to address crisis collide with moneyed interests," 7 June 2018 The state’s law, which passed in 2017, is written in a way that restricts all sports gaming to casino property, says Richard Bennett, a Republican representative in the Mississippi legislature who authored the sports betting bill. Ross Dellenger,, "Like the Rest of College Football, the SEC Is Still Building Its Game Plan for Sports Betting," 5 June 2018 Research is getting more global: 22% of science and engineering papers were internationally co-authored in 2016, up from 16% in 2003. The Economist, "How global university rankings are changing higher education," 17 May 2018 On the other hand, the joint IBM/LBNL paper was authored in 2009, so who knows what simulations companies like Google are working on behind the scenes with actual supercomputers. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's Loihi roadmap calls for its brain chips to be as 'smart' as a mouse by 2019," 14 May 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

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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