au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce authoritative (audio) , ȯ-, -ˈthȯr-\

Definition of authoritative

1 : having, marked by, or proceeding from authority authoritative church doctrines an authoritative decision an authoritative manner
2 : possessing recognized or evident authority : clearly accurate or knowledgeable an authoritative critique an authoritative source of information

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Other Words from authoritative

authoritatively adverb
authoritativeness noun

Synonyms for authoritative


classic, classical, definitive, magisterial

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Examples of authoritative in a Sentence

The book is an authoritative guide to the city's restaurants. His manner is polite but authoritative. She addressed the group with an authoritative voice.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Not even Hughes’ authoritative biographer Arnold Rampersad could identify the manuscript. Steven Hoelscher, Smithsonian, "A Lost Work by Langston Hughes Examines the Harsh Life on the Chain Gang," 9 July 2019 Never Try to Outrun a Tornado Several authoritative sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), warn that twisters are too fast to outrun. Kiona Smith-strickland, Popular Mechanics, "The Truth Behind 7 Common Tornado Myths," 9 July 2019 Be cautious while traveling or dealing with authoritative people. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: July 6, 2019," 6 July 2019 With Ahearn, Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and other members of Popovich’s staff at the club’s practice facility Thursday there were plenty of authoritative voices. Tom Orsborn,, "Spurs’ Walker shows growth as leader, defender," 27 June 2019 The Ducks do have younger players such as forwards Jakob Silfverberg and Rickard Rakell and goalie John Gibson, among others, to build around and Eakins will be the authoritative voice for them, along with captain Ryan Getzlaf. Curtis Zupke,, "Ducks expected to hire Dallas Eakins as their next coach," 16 June 2019 In some states, there is no authoritative court ruling, leaving law enforcement authorities to decide for themselves. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "Give up your password or go to jail: Police push legal boundaries to get into cellphones," 7 June 2019 Does your furry friend have a commanding and authoritative presence? Michele Petry, House Beautiful, "Here's How to Turn Your Pet Into a Renaissance Masterpiece," 17 May 2019 In fact, the Court’s finding that the process of decolonialization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed is authoritative both in terms of what the law says and what the obligations of states, including the UK, actually are. Elena Katselli, Quartz Africa, "Britain’s refusal to hand back Chagos Islands has echoes of colonial-era arrogance," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'authoritative.' 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 authoritative

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for authoritative

see authority

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Statistics for authoritative

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for authoritative

The first known use of authoritative was in 1606

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More Definitions for authoritative



English Language Learners Definition of authoritative

: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject
: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people


au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ə-ˈthȯr-ə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce authoritative (audio) \

Kids Definition of authoritative

: having or coming from authority an authoritative order

Other Words from authoritative

authoritatively adverb

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Comments on authoritative

What made you want to look up authoritative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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