au·​tho·​rize | \ ˈȯ-thə-ˌrīz How to pronounce authorize (audio) \
authorized; authorizing

Definition of authorize

transitive verb

1 : to endorse, empower, justify, or permit by or as if by some recognized or proper authority (such as custom, evidence, personal right, or regulating power) a custom authorized by time
2 : to invest especially with legal authority : empower She is authorized to act for her husband.
3 archaic : justify sense 1a

Other Words from authorize

authorizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for authorize



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Examples of authorize in a Sentence

The city council authorized the sale of the land. Who authorized the transfer of the funds?
Recent Examples on the Web Public school teachers in Brookline voted Thursday night to authorize a strike beginning Monday if the union and the School Committee do not reach a deal on a new contract over the weekend, the Brookline Educators Union said in a statement. Nick Stoico,, 13 May 2022 With Zero Trust, these trust assumptions are removed with tools such as multi-factor authentication, giving access for a limited time and to also verify, authorize and to have a continuous check on all the data points that are given access. Beth Kindig, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Administration officials said both Mr. Biden and Dr. Ashish K. Jha, the coronavirus response coordinator, have been working behind the scenes to press lawmakers to authorize the additional Covid-19 aid. New York Times, 9 May 2022 Following the presentation by Escondido Police Chief Ed Varso and his staff, the council voted 5-0 last month to authorize the department’s use of its military equipment. Joe Tash, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 In 2020, Lightfoot successfully pushed lawmakers to authorize a Chicago casino, giving her a win that had eluded mayors for decades. Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune, 5 May 2022 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez proposed the county authorize staff to begin work on contractual language for only a one-year pilot program in the 2022-2023 season. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 3 May 2022 Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at the time that congressional action would be needed to authorize such actions. Alan Fram, Time, 28 Apr. 2022 Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci later confirmed that the FDA is considering waiting until summer, likely June, to review and authorize the vaccines. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'authorize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of authorize

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for authorize

see author entry 1

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Time Traveler for authorize

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for authorize

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Authorize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for authorize


au·​tho·​rize | \ ˈȯ-thə-ˌrīz How to pronounce authorize (audio) \
authorized; authorizing

Kids Definition of authorize

1 : to give power to : give authority to
2 : to give legal or official approval to Who authorized the closing of school?


transitive verb
au·​tho·​rize | \ ˈȯ-thə-ˌrīz How to pronounce authorize (audio) \
authorized; authorizing

Legal Definition of authorize

1 : to give permission to
2 : to give authority to act to

Other Words from authorize

authorization \ ˌȯ-​thə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce authorize (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on authorize

Nglish: Translation of authorize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of authorize for Arabic Speakers


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