au·​thor | \ ˈȯ-thər How to pronounce author (audio) \

Definition of author

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the writer of a literary work (such as a book) a famous author
2a : one that originates or creates something : source software authors film authors the author of this crime
b capitalized : god sense 1


authored; authoring; authors

Definition of author (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be the author of : write a writer who has authored several best sellers

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Other Words from author


authorial \ ȯ-​ˈthȯr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce authorial (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for author

Synonyms: Noun

litterateur (or littérateur), pen, penman, scribe, scrivener, writer

Synonyms: Verb

pen, scratch (out), scribble, write

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of author in a Sentence


The author of the article didn't check his facts. I enjoyed the book, but I can't remember the name of the author. She is the author of a plan for reforming the school system.


authored a new biography of Thomas Jefferson
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Whitman is the author of eight lifestyle books, most recently Parties Around a Punch Bowl, and the mother of two young children. Alex Witchel, Town & Country, "The Best Department Stores Are All Opening Restaurants," 25 Feb. 2019 Meg is the author of more than a dozen novels for adults and young adults. Marie Milano, Country Living, "What Is 'The Wife' Movie About? Everything to Know About Glenn Close's New Film," 24 Feb. 2019 Julie Morgenstern is the author of Time to Parent, a book about the way that parents can manage their time. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The One Thing You Can Do to Make More Quality Time With Your Partner, According to an Expert," 14 Feb. 2019 Mashonda is now the author of her novel Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, which includes a foreword written by Keys and a chapter penned by Beatz. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who is Alicia Keys' Husband, Swizz Beatz?," 10 Feb. 2019 Fashion has been a constant in Balinska’s life in part thanks to her mother, Lorraine Pascale, the former model turned chef turned best-selling author. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Meet the Charlie’s Angels Star Who Stole the Show at Couture Week in Paris," 25 Jan. 2019 Lauren Emily has written for Playboy, SELF, and BUST magazines, and is the author of the young adult novel SATELLITE. Lauren Emily, SELF, "How Circus Training Helps Me Deal With My Anxiety Disorder," 15 Jan. 2019 Scott Olson/Getty Images Michelle Obama joined the ranks of former first ladies turned authors on Tuesday with the launch of her new memoir, Becoming. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The 5 biggest takeaways from Michelle Obama’s revealing new memoir," 13 Nov. 2018 As Democrats roll out plans for tax hikes, Paul Gigot interviews businessman, author and scholar Edward Conard on the problems associated with a top marginal rate of income tax on the rich of 70 percent. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Jobs and Steel Tariffs," 13 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Who’s behind it: Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, authored the bill to create No Place Like Home and has been fighting to free up the funding. Melody Gutierrez,, "Gas taxes, cage-free chickens and a chopped-up California top fall ballot," 3 July 2018 Today, instead of authoring the DC Code in Word documents stored on a hard drive in a locked room in a basement, the Code is now stored in XML format in a place everyone can see—on the Web. Joshua Tauberer, Ars Technica, "How I changed the law with a GitHub pull request," 25 Nov. 2018 The change would reverse legislation passed in 2013 -- and authored by Morrell himself -- that removed a council member or designee from the board with the intent of scrubbing political influences from utility affairs. Beau Evans,, "New Orleans should regulate, not run Sewerage & Water Board, watchdog group says," 10 Apr. 2018 Still, the 69-year-old San Francisco resident — who has a film in the Library of Congress, has had success in Hollywood and has authored one of the most prominent Asian American indie film careers — has been thinking of his legacy as of late. G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, "Wayne Wang to be honored at SFFilm festival with tribute screening of ‘Smoke’," 3 Apr. 2018 God doesn’t just understand or author our joy at the small things of life. David French, National Review, "Yes, God Cares about Football," 6 Feb. 2018 Hedi Steady Go Hedi Slimane’s last-October first chapter for Celine was largely judged—and widely lamented—by a Greek chorus that was deeply attached to its Phoebe Philo authored past. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "6 Talking Points From the Fall 2019 Menswear Season to Come Inspired by Virgil... (Not the Virgil that You’re Thinking Of)," 3 Jan. 2019 This summer, 20 experts in civil rights and artificial intelligence authored a letter to the task force with preliminary suggestions about what policy could look like. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 Feinstein highlights her environmental protection efforts, including establishing two national parks, and her push to reauthorize the 1994 assault weapons ban she co-authored. Kathleen Ronayne, The Seattle Times, "Feinstein and rival de Leon, both Democrats, set to debate," 16 Oct. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for author

Noun and Verb

Middle English auctour, from Anglo-French auctor, autor, from Latin auctor promoter, originator, author, from augēre to increase — more at eke

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Statistics for author

Last Updated

8 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for author

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

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More Definitions for author



English Language Learners Definition of author

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has written something especially : a person who has written a book or who writes many books
: a person who starts or creates something (such as a plan or idea)



English Language Learners Definition of author (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be the author of (something, such as a book)


au·​thor | \ ˈȯ-thər How to pronounce author (audio) \

Kids Definition of author

: a person who writes something (as a novel)

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Comments on author

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


to corrupt or become corrupted

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