official

noun
of·​fi·​cial | \ ə-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce official (audio) , 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 How to pronounce officially (audio) , ō-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for official

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Bell’s brother, Fire Chief Terry Bell, and five other firefighters were also injured, as was an ambulance worker, officials said. Washington Post, "Worker who herded people out before explosion is called hero," 18 Sep. 2019 The room was under construction when the blast occurred and caused a fire that spread some 30 square meters, officials said in the statement. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Explosion Reported at Russian Lab Carrying Dangerous Viruses Like Ebola and Smallpox," 17 Sep. 2019 For Moffitt, the partnership can double the number of patients who are enrolled in its clinical trials, helping to speed up the research and advancement toward new treatments, officials said. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "AdventHealth partners with Moffitt Cancer Center to bring clinical trials to Orlando," 17 Sep. 2019 An 11-year-old Tiburon boy was killed in a boating accident near Angel Island, and his father was arrested on suspicion of operating the vehicle while intoxicated, officials said. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Father arrested after his 11-year-old son is killed in boat accident near Angel Island," 16 Sep. 2019 The Katy Independent School District is now screening incoming secondary students for inclusion in their Gifted and Talented program, officials said. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "Gifted and talented screening for 5th graders at Katy ISD," 16 Sep. 2019 Elijah Boatley, 20, was transported to the hospital in critical condition late-Friday following the shooting outside a small shopping center near 48th Street and Broadway Road, officials said. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Man fatally shot by Sheriff's deputy was suspect in Phoenix fire station shooting," 16 Sep. 2019 In addition to district officials, Safety Day also included the participation of the Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills police departments. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Parma City Schools successfully holds districtwide active shooter drill," 16 Sep. 2019 No structures are currently at risk and no closures in place, officials said. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Wildfires burn Sunday in Colorado as hot, dry conditions continue," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Barcelona took to their official website to confirm the squad for Tuesday's game, and Dembélé has been reinstated. SI.com, "Ernesto Valverde Fires Warning to Ousmane Dembélé as Winger Returns to Squad," 5 Nov. 2019 According to the official website, the 5K race began at 5:30 a.m. on Friday. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Runner dies during Walt Disney World Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend 5K race," 4 Nov. 2019 The sanctions target some of Khamenei’s closest advisers, including his second son, Mojtaba Khamenei, who often represents his father at official functions even though he has never been appointed to a government position, U.S. officials said. Carol Morello, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration sanctions top aides to Iranian leader Khamenei," 4 Nov. 2019 According to the game’s official website, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. National Desk, cleveland, "Mega Millions numbers: Are you the winner of Friday’s $118 million lottery jackpot?," 2 Nov. 2019 According to the royals' official website, the Order was created in 1917 by King George V as a means to reward individuals for notable contributions in service, charity work, and beyond. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Olivia Colman, Star of The Crown, Receives an Honor from the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace," 31 Oct. 2019 They are charged with of aiding and abetting Lewis in committing her crimes, with offering her money and other items for the purpose of corruptly influencing official action. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "Birmingham water board member guilty on ethics charges," 30 Oct. 2019 To avoid purchasing counterfeit tickets, fans are encouraged to buy through the official MLB website or an authorized ticket broker. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Beware of counterfeit World Series tickets and merchandise," 29 Oct. 2019 The fax also included an official-looking form from the Department of Homeland Security attesting to the fact that a check for $750,000 is in the possession of Customs officials. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Van Nuys woman wins $750,000! Except for one small thing," 22 Oct. 2019

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

27 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce official (audio)

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 How to pronounce official (audio) \

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 How to pronounce official (audio) \

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 How to pronounce officially (audio) \ 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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