au·​thor·​ship | \ ˈȯ-thər-ˌship How to pronounce authorship (audio) \

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

Three Days of Rain Dragon Theatre presents Richard Greenberg’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize finalist about an architecturally significant home and how its authorship and legacy get contested both in the moment and in future generations. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Theater capsule reviews and listings, week of June 17," 14 June 2018 How best to assign authorship is currently an open question. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018 More recently, there are some notable examples of pseudonymous authorship. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018 The younger scholar’s energy found outlets not only in authorship (reviews, essays, diaries and memoirs, as well as an extensive and far-flung correspondence), but also in academic combat, including a long tilt with left-wing revisionists. James Grant, WSJ, "Robert H. Ferrell, a Historian of Breadth and Clarity," 17 Aug. 2018 Films, models, red phones, drawings: All these elements are brought to bear and still the photographs dominate, wiping out authorship, region, even the 30-plus-year span of the exhibition. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Concrete utopia," 12 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of authorship

1710, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about authorship

Statistics for authorship

Last Updated

31 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for authorship

The first known use of authorship was in 1710

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for authorship



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 How to pronounce authorship (audio) \

Kids Definition of authorship

: the profession of writing

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on authorship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with authorship

Spanish Central: Translation of authorship

Nglish: Translation of authorship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of authorship for Arabic Speakers

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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!