au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive ə-ˈthȯr-ə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce authoritative (audio)
: having, marked by, or proceeding from authority
authoritative church doctrines
an authoritative decision
an authoritative manner
: possessing recognized or evident authority : clearly accurate or knowledgeable
an authoritative critique
an authoritative source of information
authoritatively adverb
authoritativeness noun

Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web In those instances, Google will continue to steer people to authoritative websites. Michael Liedtke, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2023 In his deep, authoritative voice, Calkins was complaining about the investigation. Thomas Lake, CNN Money, 21 Apr. 2023 Porter’s prominence is unusual for a representative who just began her third term, but her sharp, precisely worded questions, authoritative mien, and savvy prop usage in hearings—not typically thrilling arenas for political jousting—have continued to propel her notoriety. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 3 Apr. 2023 Jarron had eight rebounds and three authoritative dunks. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2023 Oregon-Davis showed no mercy to Knox, leading from end-to-end in an authoritative 77-39 victory in an Indiana boys basketball matchup on February 10. Indy Star Ai Sports, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Feb. 2023 Formula milk companies know that health professionals play a pivotal role in infant feeding decisions, both in shaping guidelines and providing authoritative recommendations to parents. Cecília Tomori, STAT, 8 Feb. 2023 Podcast transcripts are provided for convenience and accessibility, but in case of discrepancy between the transcript and the podcast’s audio, the audio is considered the authoritative source. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Dec. 2022 Anarchists do not reject order or rule or governance but insist that in a healthy society these things cannot be imposed from above—from some arche, some authoritative source. Alan Jacobs, Harper’s Magazine , 9 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'authoritative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


authority + -ative

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of authoritative was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near authoritative

Cite this Entry

“Authoritative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive ə-ˈthär-ə-ˌtāt-iv How to pronounce authoritative (audio)
: having or coming from authority
authoritatively adverb
authoritativeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on authoritative

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!