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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from authoritative

authoritatively adverb
authoritativeness noun

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Since then, Trump has tweeted false claims numerous times, and Twitter has responded by placing a smaller label beneath those tweets noting that the content is disputed and linking to authoritative information. Washington Post, "Tech companies brace for the long haul with Trump’s unrelenting attacks on election outcome," 11 Nov. 2020 This account will offer the most authoritative information about who wins the election, and about important down-ballot races through the country. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "14 Twitter and Instagram accounts you should follow for election news," 4 Nov. 2020 McElfresh has proved to be pretty authoritative, but supportive of the man who spends most of his waking hours in gyms. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Loveland coach Darnell Parker on cancer diagnosis: 'I refuse not to attack this thing'," 3 Nov. 2020 Combining images and words—where the words were the voices of the people portrayed and not the authoritative voice of the artist, curator, or editor—was a way of understanding documentary photography as a vehicle for a multiplicity of voices. Valeria Luiselli, The New York Review of Books, "Things as They Are," 3 Nov. 2020 If that isn’t authoritative enough, perhaps a strong admonition from the State Patrol will do the trick. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "It's the law in Minnesota: Clear snow from your car," 1 Nov. 2020 This is one of her most naturally authoritative performances. Michael Phillips,, "'Let Him Go’ review: Austere western pulp, energized by Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Lesley Manville," 3 Nov. 2020 Americans desperately needed and wanted a leader of steadiness, sobriety, gravity, empathy, constancy, and cool, informed, authoritative competence to guide them in such a time. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "I Was ‘Never Trump’ in 2016. I’m Still a Conservative. Here’s How I’m Voting," 2 Nov. 2020 Pittsburgh earned an authoritative win over the Cleveland Browns but showed some warts in a close win over the Tennessee Titans. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Steelers deny Lamar Jackson, Ravens in crunch time to stay undefeated," 1 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of authoritative

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for authoritative

see authority

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about authoritative

Time Traveler for authoritative

Time Traveler

The first known use of authoritative was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Statistics for authoritative

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Authoritative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for authoritative


How to pronounce authoritative (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!