official

noun
of·fi·cial | \ə-ˈfi-shəl, ō-\

Definition of official 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who holds or is invested (see invest entry 2 sense 1) with an office : officer government officials A company official responded to our request.

2 : one who administers the rules of a game or sport especially as a referee or umpire a football official

official

adjective

Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to an office, position, or trust official duties official documents

2 : holding an office : having authority the president's official representative

3a : authoritative, authorized official statement an official biography

b : prescribed or recognized as authorized an official language

c : described by the U.S. Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary The official drug is sold under several trade names.

4 : befitting or characteristic of a person in office extended an official greeting official condolences

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Other Words from official

Adjective

officially \ə-ˈfi-sh(ə-)lē, ō- \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for official

Synonyms: Noun

functionary, officeholder, officer, public servant

Synonyms: Adjective

authorized, sanctioned

Antonyms: Adjective

nonofficial, unauthorized, unofficial, unsanctioned

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Examples of official in a Sentence

Noun

She interviewed a senior official from the previous administration. A company official responded to our request.

Adjective

She was accused of destroying official documents. Her illness did not prevent her from performing her official duties. The Vice President is on an official trip. We extended an official greeting to the ambassador.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Algeria's deadly expulsions of migrants into the Sahara Desert have nearly ground to a halt after widespread condemnation and the abrupt firing of two top security officials. Lori Hinnant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Algeria stops expelling migrants into Sahara after pushback," 13 July 2018 French striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for cursing at his coach: the players boycotted a day of training, a top official resigned in disgust, and France failed to win a game. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 For starters, the restoration is a testament to what the city can achieve when top officials decide to make preservation a priority. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "A tale of two historic Philadelphia buildings: One rises from the ashes. The other falls to the wrecking ball.," 12 July 2018 President Donald Trump and other top administration officials have spent months railing against the release of immigrant families as a recipe for widespread lawlessness. Dara Lind, Vox, "A new study blows up Trump’s “catch-and-release” myth," 11 July 2018 Trying to ease concerns, BIE Director Tony Dearman and his top officials had flown across the country to meet with parents and tribal leaders. Alden Woods, azcentral, "In the Grand Canyon, Havasupai parents want to regain control over failing school," 10 July 2018 Initially, the first boys rescued were reported to be in good health, while an official later said in a news conference that some blood tests showed signs of infection, NPR reported. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "The Rescued Thai Soccer Team Is Being Monitored For 'Cave Disease' and Other Health Concerns," 10 July 2018 Team officials are willing to accept slow but steady baby steps. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Jonathan Isaac, Mo Bamba gave Magic hope at summer league," 14 July 2018 In short: Beijing officials are just as aware as studio execs in Burbank that hurting left-leaning Hollywood is more likely to delight America's current tweeter-in-chief. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Hollywood Get Caught in Trump's China Trade War Crossfire?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The day became official 34 years ago when President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day and the month of July as National Ice Cream Month. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "What's the scoop? See the deals Sunday for National Ice Cream Day," 13 July 2018 UW-Madison will get a statewide visibility and public relations bump through a UW System restructuring that became official earlier this month. Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Retro UW-Madison delivery van hits road with myth-busting facts, Babcock ice cream," 13 July 2018 Trump will spend very little time in London, having stayed in the capital for a single, well-insulated night at the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in Regent's Park. Danica Kirka, Fox News, "Demonstrators plan to mock Trump with giant balloon," 13 July 2018 Today, on their final leg of the visit, Meghan and Prince Harry visited the official residence of President Michael D Higgins. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Taupe Roland Mouret Dress Means Business for Day 2 of Her Ireland Trip," 11 July 2018 The raises become official when the court approves its fiscal year 2019 budget in September and would take effect Oct. 1. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Bexar commissioners OK salary increase, seek military transition center bids," 10 July 2018 Mrs May had pushed her plan for a softened Brexit through an all-day meeting of her cabinet at Chequers, her official country residence. The Economist, "Britain’s new Brexit plan is savaged—by its own Brexit secretary," 9 July 2018 After the christening, the family is slated to travel to Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Charles, for portraits by photographer Matt Holyoak. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "All Five Cambridges Appeared Together for the First Time at Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 The Lakers’ draft day trade with Philadelphia also became official. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Rajon Rondo says LeBron James can take this Lakers team to the NBA Finals, too," 7 July 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for official

Noun

Middle English, "person presiding over an ecclesiastical court, domestic retainer," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin officiālis "person performing the duties of an office, head of an ecclesiastical court," going back to Latin, "attendant on a magistrate," derivative of officiālis "pertaining to fixed duties" — more at official entry 2

Adjective

Middle English, "functional (of a part of the body)," borrowed from Medieval Latin officiālis "functional, pertaining to duties of an office," going back to Latin, "pertaining to fixed duties," from officium "duty, office" + -ālis -al entry 1

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Statistics for official

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for official

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

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More Definitions for official

official

noun

English Language Learners Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has a position of authority in a company, organization, or government : a person who holds an office

: a person (such as a referee or umpire) who makes sure that players are following the rules of a game

official

adjective

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

: of or relating to the job or work of someone in a position of authority

—used to describe something that is said in a public way by someone in a position of authority

—used to describe something that is done in a public and often formal way

official

noun
of·fi·cial | \ə-ˈfi-shəl \

Kids Definition of official

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who holds a position of authority in an organization or government

official

adjective

Kids Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : relating to a position of authority official duties

2 : having authority to perform a duty the official referee

3 : coming from or meeting the requirements of an authority an official team baseball We're waiting for the official announcement.

4 : proper for a person in office The White House is the President's official residence.

Other Words from official

officially adverb

official

adjective
of·fi·cial | \ə-ˈfish-əl \

Medical Definition of official 

: prescribed or recognized as authorized specifically : described by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary — compare nonofficial, unofficial

Other Words from official

officially \-ˈfish-(ə-)lē \ adverb

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official

noun
of·fi·cial

Legal Definition of official 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: one who holds or is invested with an office especially in government a municipal official

official

adjective

Legal Definition of official (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or holding an office, position, or trust official duties

2 : fully authorized an official policy of the bank

Other Words from official

officially adverb

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