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 official (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 On Monday, it was announced that two Capitol police officers were suspended and one security official was arrested as a result of their participation in the deadly insurrection. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Report: FBI warned of ‘violence,’ ‘war’ ahead of riots that killed 5 at Capitol," 12 Jan. 2021 The presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is expected Thursday, a White House official confirmed. Chronicle News Services, SFChronicle.com, "PGA Championship removed from Trump National next year," 10 Jan. 2021 Travis Creel, a Corps official helping oversee the project, said the agency will work with the CPRA to determine if any of that money can be used for projects that already are part of the state's Master Plan. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Corps proposes $2 billion, 30.6-mile Upper Barataria levee to protect from 100-year hurricane storm surges," 10 Jan. 2021 The Trump-campaign official and girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of Trump’s Mount Rushmore rally, according to the New York Times and People. Vulture Editors, Vulture, "All the Celebrities Who Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus," 9 Jan. 2021 The Friday morning authorization timeline was also walked back Friday night by the senior defense official. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "‘Down a rabbit hole’: Pentagon dismisses importance of delaying Maryland Guard response to Capitol rioting," 8 Jan. 2021 The California Democrat also said Thursday that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, another key security official, had already submitted his resignation. Chron, "Education head Betsy DeVos quits, cites Trump rhetoric," 7 Jan. 2021 Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, Louisiana’s top elections official, wants to use the same expansion of absentee-by-mail voting that was in place for the summer and fall elections, including the November presidential competition. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Hank Aaron, skeptic’s mea culpa, vaccine campouts: News from around our 50 states," 6 Jan. 2021 The union leadership expects ratification, union official Jim Araby told me. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: In wake of Prop. 22, Albertsons is converting its home delivery to gig work," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The comments, delivered during traditional Sunday afternoon remarks from the Vatican, were echoed in a tweet from the pope's official Twitter account. Carly Roman, Washington Examiner, "Pope Francis prays for victims of Capitol Hill violence," 10 Jan. 2021 Depp's difficulties in 2020 have been high profile and are ongoing, as his official Instagram account makes clear. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Johnny Depp sends holiday message to fans on Instagram wishing for 'a better time ahead' after 'hard' 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Hennessy now says that in amending their minutes to include specific reasons for the closed-door sessions, board members have improperly gone beyond explaining their actions — and have created a whole new official account that’s misleading. Jon Lender, courant.com, "Jon Lender: State’s trash agency accused of violating FOI law and trying to rewrite history by amending its official minutes after the fact," 26 Dec. 2020 Piccolo said Floridians can get information about DeSantis on Twitter from the governor’s official account. Mario Ariza, orlandosentinel.com, "DeSantis spokesman Piccolo deletes his Twitter account after tweet about COVID-19 victims," 24 Dec. 2020 French President Emmanuel Macron, in a message on his official Twitter account, said the agreement protects European citizens, businesses and fishermen. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Brexit Trade Deal Is Reached Between U.K., European Union," 24 Dec. 2020 The Instagram post also highlighted the official account of the Actors' Benevolent Fund. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, and Tom Hardy Deliver a Special Christmas Message," 24 Dec. 2020 Bloomberg was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the hackers’ official Twitter account or their claim for responsibility for cyberattacks. Aoife White, Bloomberg.com, "Europe’s Human Rights Court Hit by Hackers after Ruling Critical of Turkey," 23 Dec. 2020 Lao Rongzhi, 46, appeared in the Nanchang Intermediate People's Court in Jiangxi province on Monday, according to a statement posted by the court on its official Weibo social media account. Rhea Mogul, CNN, "Accused of seven murders, woman goes on trial in China after 20 years on the run," 22 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for official

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for official

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Official.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/official. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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 official (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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Comments on official

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