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

The bill’s author, state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, says such fears are unfounded because state laws supersede trade group rules. Nanette Asimov,, "California could become first state to let student-athletes earn profits," 5 July 2019 The process was developed by Dr. Howard Gendelman, chair of pharmacology and experimental neuroscience at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the study’s other lead author. Alice Park, Time, "For the First Time, Researchers Eliminated HIV From the Genomes of Living Animals," 2 July 2019 The amendment’s author, Rep. Richard Roudebush, R-Ind. Roger Simmons,, "Apollo facts: 11 things you probably don’t know about the moon mission," 28 June 2019 Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, three authors of the guideline said it was never intended to become a mandated standard, even though more than 30 states had incorporated it into legislation in the three years since its publication. STAT, "Stop persecuting doctors for legitimately prescribing opioids for chronic pain," 28 June 2019 But the report's authors say people aren't spending enough time sorting through this process and policymakers could do more to encourage it. Sarah Skidmore Sell,, "Study: Retirees lose by taking Social Security at wrong time," 28 June 2019 The risk is greater for postmenopausal women, the study authors said. Maggie O'neill,, "What is Triclosan? Study Links Common Ingredient in Toothpastes and Soaps With Osteoporosis," 27 June 2019 The anonymous authors of Genesis said that Adam named her, too. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Miriam Toews’s Quiet Revolution," 26 June 2019 Facial expressions and the neural pathways that control them differ between the two kinds of laughter, the authors say. Giovanni Sabato, Scientific American, "What’s So Funny? The Science of Why We Laugh," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Assemblywoman authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution 66, which has passed through both the Assembly and the Senate with bipartisan support. Kim Fu, The Mercury News, "Stretch of I-5 to be named for fallen Officer Natalie Corona," 8 July 2019 Yee co-authored the measure and helped spearhead support for it. Dominic Fracassa,, "Judge could rule soon on SF’s taxes for homeless services and childcare," 4 July 2019 Kyrgios authored an underarm serve in Acapulco, and after hitting an underarm ace Thursday he then crushed a 143-mile per hour second serve to demonstrate his unpredictable genius. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Rafael Nadal edges past Nick Kyrgios in Center Court thriller," 4 July 2019 Irving authored one of the most iconic moments in playoff history: a last-minute 3-pointer in Game 7 of the 2016 N.B.A. finals that toppled the Warriors and lifted the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first and only championship. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Kyrie Irving Commits to Brooklyn, Cementing Nets as Kings of New York," 30 June 2019 Paxton co-authored a friend-of-the-court brief with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill Jr. that was joined by attorneys general from 10 other states. Chuck Lindell, Anchorage Daily News, "Texas AG to high court: Block abortion providers from suing to overturn laws," 30 June 2019 Gascoigne also co-authored a paper with Northbrook resident Niam Abeysiriwardena, a fellow Goldwater Scholarship winner, that was published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. Daniel I. Dorfman,, "Shout Out: Sam Gascoigne, a Goldwater Scholarship winner from Lake Forest College," 28 June 2019 Portantino authored Senate Bill 568, which would allow Glendale Community College to observe April 24 without costing the institution in state funding. Andrew J. Campa,, "State senator pushes to allow Armenian Genocide recognition at GCC without cost," 28 June 2019 Rich Exner, data analysis editor for, authored a month-long series focusing on gerrymandering and options for reform. Rich Exner,, "Supreme Court leaves Ohio vulnerable to future gerrymandering, even after voter-approved reform," 27 June 2019

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

12 Jul 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 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).


characterized by aphorism

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