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

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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 The goal of the payments, which were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, is to help Americans weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Questions about your stimulus check? You can soon call the IRS," 19 May 2020 The money was part of the aid package authorized by Congress. Laura Jarrett, CNN, "HBCUs doubly hurt by campus shutdowns in coronavirus pandemic," 18 May 2020 The first phase of human trials could begin as soon as late June if authorized by drug regulators, BAT said. Corinne Gretler,, "Tobacco-Based Coronavirus Vaccine Poised for Human Tests," 15 May 2020 The company also didn’t disclose that the tests weren’t authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the SEC said. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, "SEC Charges Two Companies Over Statements About Coronavirus Testing Products," 14 May 2020 Charlie Plybon, a policy manager with the Surfrider Foundation, said the issue was partly due to a misunderstanding regarding a dune grading project, which had been authorized by the state parks. oregonlive, "Fences on Pacific City beach draw concern from residents," 9 May 2020 The test Sonora Quest is using has been authorized by the FDA under Emergency Use Authorization for use by authorized laboratories, which includes Sonora Quest, company officials said. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "COVID-19 antibody testing: Proceed with caution, plus other things you need to know," 6 May 2020 The secretary's office also cited a provision of a Senate resolution against disclosing records when they are not authorized by law. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "Secretary of Senate says can't comply with Biden request to release records on alleged Tara Reade complaint," 4 May 2020 But Atkins and Rendon want to tap into infrastructure bonds that have already been authorized by voters and quickly push the borrowed money out into job-creating projects. Los Angeles Times, "Column: In the coronavirus crisis, California isn’t under one-party rule, it’s under one-man rule," 27 Apr. 2020

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.

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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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Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Authorize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for authorize


How to pronounce authorize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of authorize

: to give power or permission to (someone or something)
: to give legal or official approval to or for (something)


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 Their guardian is authorized to act for them.
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 authorization (audio) \ noun

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