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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of author in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb authored a new biography of Thomas Jefferson
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Previous studies found that their authors are predominantly in Africa and Asia and that some turn to predatory journals for speed and ease of publication, or to satisfy institutional requirements to publish. Jeffrey Brainard, Science | AAAS, "Articles in ‘predatory journals’ receive few or no citations," 7 Jan. 2020 IDEAS Khosla teaches law and politics at Columbia Law School and Ashoka University and is the author of India’s Founding Moment. Madhav Khosla, Time, "The Battle for India's Founding Ideals," 6 Jan. 2020 The blog chronicled the life of its author, Amina Arraf, a 35-year-old gay Syrian woman participating in an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Paris Martineau, Wired, "Internet Deception Is Here to Stay—So What Do We Do Now?," 30 Dec. 2019 The victim's father, Inman Majors, is the author of six novels and an English professor at James Madison University. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Teen linked to fatal stabbing of Tessa Majors near Columbia University 'located,' police say," 27 Dec. 2019 Buzz is the author of Tall Tales—the Life of a Professional Hunter in the Zambesi Valley. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "How to Survive an Elephant Attack," 18 Dec. 2019 Its late #MeToo turn seems a bit tacked on, but its provocations feel right for a 2019 book about adults, students, and power; a bit of righteous rage coursing through a story in which its author wields gonzo confidence. David Canfield,, "The year in books: Everything you need to know about 2019's biggest titles," 18 Dec. 2019 Stott and his co-authors write of present-day carbon reservoirs. Todd Woody, National Geographic, "Huge amounts of greenhouse gases lurk in the oceans, and could make warming far worse," 17 Dec. 2019 An expanding range In my view, what counts as a classic today must come from an ever-expanding range of authors. Sheila Cordner, The Conversation, "Like ‘Little Women,’ books by Zitkála-Šá and Taha Hussein are classics," 11 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But 23 months after Caldwell was relieved of his job, the Lions are preaching patience with Patricia, who was hand-picked by his close friend and former New England Patriots colleague, Quinn, to author a turnaround. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia, GM Bob Quinn will return for 2020 season," 17 Dec. 2019 Donna Reiner has co-authored three books on Phoenix history. Donna Reiner, azcentral, "This century-old Craftsman bungalow has a story rooted in citrus," 14 Nov. 2019 He was known to author his own opinions — by hand, on a yellow legal pad — while other justices relied on clerks to help. Zach Murdock,, "Former Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Robert Berdon dies at 89, remembered as the ‘one justice dissenting’," 1 Nov. 2019 Before the massacre, Crusius is believed to have authored a racist, anti-immigrant document that laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants. CNN, "The judge in the El Paso massacre case asks to be reassigned," 26 Sep. 2019 The two researchers collaborated with others using photographs and descriptions to author the first study on type D killer whales, published in the journal Polar Biology in 2010. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Mysterious new orca species likely identified," 7 Mar. 2019 Marcus notes that no one at Facebook asked him to author the defense of Zuckerberg and his company. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Facebook’s former Messenger boss calls WhatsApp co-founder a ‘new standard of low-class’," 26 Sep. 2018 In 1995, a then-Democratic state senator from the Central Valley, (now U.S. Rep.) Jim Costa, joined forces with a Republican assemblyman from Orange County, Phil Hawkins, to author the state law seeking to blunt the rent control movement. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Will stronger rent control spread across California? Here's what you need to know.," 18 June 2018 Huberty authored Texas House Bill 3, increasing funding for teachers in the state. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Elected Officials Reception honors Lake Houston area legislators," 13 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for author

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for author

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Author.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for author


How to pronounce author (audio)

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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