au·​thor·​ship | \ˈȯ-thər-ˌship \

Definition of authorship 

1 : the profession of writing

2 : the source (such as the author) of a piece of writing, music, or art

3 : the state or act of writing, creating, or causing

Examples of authorship in a Sentence

His first attempt at authorship failed.

Recent Examples on the Web

But the fickle nature and uncertain authorship of boom times explain why historians generally don’t focus much on the economy when calculating their presidential rankings. Neil Swidey,, "How Democrats would be better off if Bill Clinton had never been president," 10 July 2018 For a flat fee, these writers produced manuscripts based on outlines provided by the syndicate, signing away their authorship rights. Jennifer Fisher, Smithsonian, "The Adventurous Writer Who Brought Nancy Drew To Life," 2 July 2018 But the play’s potent conflict explores much deeper themes of authorship: who owns ideas, who has the right to what stories, which side more deserves telling, and whether a universality of narrative transcends the racial origins of its writer(s). Jim Rutter,, "'Mrs. Harrison' at the Azuka Theatre: Power and promise, here, now, everywhere," 9 May 2018 That collective authorship is in some ways a deeply wonderful thing, a reminder of how powerful people’s impulses can be, despite the assorted awfulnesses on offer on the internet, to enforce human connection. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "#PlaneBae and the Slow Death of Whimsy," 6 July 2018 That gives women authorship of only 6% of television scores., "Record Scratch: Only 6% Of Your Favorite Shows Use Music Composed By Women," 1 July 2018 Other senators expressed concern about her authorship of a memo that led to the destruction of 92 videotapes of those interrogations. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Gina Haspel Sworn In as CIA Director," 21 May 2018 The rankings, which give marks for international co-authorship, encourage this trend. The Economist, "How global university rankings are changing higher education," 17 May 2018 The plaintiff asserted that its program is an original literary work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression when stored on computer hard drives. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Judge Allows Copyright Claims Over Technology Used on Disney's 'Avengers'," 18 June 2018

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

1710, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2018

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The first known use of authorship was in 1710

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English Language Learners Definition of authorship

: the identity of the person who has written something

: the job or profession of writing


au·​thor·​ship | \ˈȯ-thər-ˌship \

Kids Definition of authorship

: the profession of writing

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Comments on authorship

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


by force of circumstances

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