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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of author in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The birds are interesting in their own right, but much of the gold in this book results from trials overcome by the author. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Ten Best Science Books of 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 Making these little landscapes, says the author, develops motor skills, spacial awareness and provides sensory input. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Gardener gift idea: ‘A Family Guide to Terrariums’ with 15 hands-on projects," 26 Nov. 2020 Poetry by the young author, Prisca Afantchao, has won the Silver Key from the 2019 Scholastic Writing and Arts Awards., "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 25 Nov. 2020 But as the Federalist author notes, Emanuel says a number of times that his argument reflects his own personal view. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Article wrongly states Biden COVID-19 adviser's view on vaccine, age," 25 Nov. 2020 The eight short stories in this collection were inspired by the students the author has been teaching for two decades at Career Academy and other Baltimore City schools. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "These 10 books with Baltimore ties will get you through the holidays and just possibly self-quarantine," 24 Nov. 2020 The other co-author at Cincinnati Children's was Janet Zahner, the lead data warehouse analyst there. From Staff Reports, The Enquirer, "COVID-19: New analysis of 135,000 cases details how disease hits children," 23 Nov. 2020 Or if the first edition was so small that the author can easily do hand corrections in each copy. Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Shunning, shaming and ‘cancel culture’," 23 Nov. 2020 Gorra’s argument, however, depends on close readings of everything from individual sentences to symbols and characters and themes across the author’s novels, which collectively make the case that a racist person can be a radical writer. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "William Faulkner’s Demons," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Colts didn’t author a masterpiece on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, but results matter more. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "NFL power rankings: Colts rise, with an asterisk," 24 Nov. 2020 Feinstein helped author some of the committee’s consequential bills, including those on assault weapons and violence against women. Dustin Gardiner,, "Feinstein won’t seek to keep top Senate Judiciary Committee post," 23 Nov. 2020 Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, who was one of seven Democratic and Republican governors to co-author an opinion piece in The Washington Post this week urging Americans to cancel Thanksgiving, advised residents to wear masks and instituted a curfew. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Final Pandemic Surge Is Crashing Over America," 19 Nov. 2020 In July, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci directs, told PolitiFact that Fauci did not author the post. Adrienne Dunn, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Dr. Anthony Fauci is not the author of a viral Facebook post on viruses," 30 Oct. 2020 President Trump, explaining to author Bob Woodward his chemistry with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "President Trump loves the military, just not its leaders, according to Woodward’s book," 10 Sep. 2020 Trump said it to author Bob Woodward’s tape machine. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Nope, I'm not writing about the long odds facing Joe Burrow this year," 10 Sep. 2020 Scowcroft’s fingerprints were all over Bush’s foreign policy — so much so that Bush decided to co-author his memoirs with his national security adviser. Ivo Daalder Chicago Tribune (tns), Star Tribune, "Remembering Brent Scowcroft, the model national security adviser," 14 Aug. 2020 Still, his effort just to author one far-fetched comeback after another left his team impressed with his clutch disposition. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Donovan Mitchell’s clutch heroics keep Utah Jazz coming back in loss to Denver," 9 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for author

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for author

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Author.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for author


How to pronounce author (audio)

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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