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

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 Democrats have already taken to social media to push their support of Warnock, as challengers like former football star Republican Herschel Walker and former Trump national security official Latham Saddler line up in an attempt to unseat him. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 7 Jan. 2022 From there, the former White House official set up a home gym in his basement with dumbbells and an elliptical. Janine Henni, PEOPLE.com, 7 Jan. 2022 The committee recommended former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark also be held in contempt but gave him another opportunity to appear before the committee. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, 6 Jan. 2022 Most witnesses have cooperated, but three former Trump aides have refused to comply with the records request: chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and Meadows. Nik Popli, Time, 5 Jan. 2022 Biden will nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former top Treasury Department official, to serve as the Fed’s top banking regulator, the White House said. WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 The addition comes as more people have reported psychological symptoms, according to a State Department official familiar with the planning. Mark Walker, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Jan. 2022 Israel used it in the 1961 trial of the former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann, as did Spain in 1998 when demanding that Britain arrest Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator. New York Times, 13 Jan. 2022 The proposal is expected to be approved by members, the union official said. Kelly Mccleary, CNN, 12 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Even government websites and other official sources remained without updates on Sunday afternoon. Nick Perry, ajc, 16 Jan. 2022 The country has reported almost 500,000 Covid-19-related deaths, the second highest in the world after the U.S, but studies suggest India’s true death toll is far higher than the official tally. NBC News, 15 Jan. 2022 Cloudflare, which is based in San Francisco, hopes to launch the card early this year around its official office reopening. Emily Glazer, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2022 The festival’s official line-up was revealed on Wednesday evening. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 15 Jan. 2022 The suspect was charged with petty theft, possessing criminal tools, and obstruction of official business. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, 15 Jan. 2022 Team Liquid finally confirmed the news Saturday, sharing an official announcement of Cannella’s reintegration into the roster. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 The Pixel Fold was never an official name for the foldable Pixel. Chris Smith, BGR, 15 Jan. 2022 News spread quickly — by way of official text message alerts, media reports and the head of public works for the city of Manzanita, who flipped over a beachside warning sign, according to authorities. oregonlive, 15 Jan. 2022

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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Dictionary Entries Near official

office seeker

official

official at bat

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Statistics for official

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Official.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/official. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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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 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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on official

Nglish: Translation of official for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of official for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about official

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