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

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

The two officials, who were privy to state- and county-level discussions about the project, said the timeline for construction of the facility is unclear. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Officials: Amazon exploring a massive logistics center in Prince George’s County," 5 July 2019 The fund would be run by a panel called the California Catastrophe Council composed of state government officials, including the governor or someone designated by the governor. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California lawmakers race to pass wildfire legislation by July 12," 4 July 2019 DeSimone said ride organizers have met with state officials, who are working on plans to have the ride pass safely from Laconia to Randolph. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Memorial ride for victims of N.H. crash scheduled for Saturday," 4 July 2019 Military officials, however, objected for reasons practical and ideological. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "Little Rocket Man," 4 July 2019 But the firm couldn’t reach a fee agreement with local officials, who cut off negotiations without explanation or compensation. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "‘Nothing we can do’: How a Dallas firm's time in China highlights core dispute in Trump's trade war," 3 July 2019 According to media reports, visitors arriving in Xinjiang from neighboring Kyrgyzstan have been forced to unlock their phones for border officials, who then install an application called Fengcai. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Chinese government loads surveillance app onto phones of visitors to Xinjiang: report," 3 July 2019 The reports typically reflect finances at the end of the previous year, but some officials, such as Fried, file more updated information. Jim Turner, orlandosentinel.com, "All 3 Florida Cabinet members are millionaires, finance reports show," 3 July 2019 The reports typically reflect finances at the end of the previous year, but some officials, such as Fried, file more updated information. Jim Turner, sun-sentinel.com, "Millionaire’s row: All 3 Florida Cabinet members post net worth over 7 figures," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Upon Amin’s fall from power, the hundreds of thousands of images taken by his official photographers disappeared from the historical record, presumed lost or destroyed during the tumultuous years that followed. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Thousands of Newly Unearthed Photographs Document Ugandans’ Life Under Idi Amin," 5 July 2019 The dark blue would contrast nicely with the turquoise jewelry that Meghan's been wearing lately, both at the official introduction of Archie (necklace) and her appearance at the Yankees vs. Red Sox game (earrings). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry Receives a Bracelet to Give to Meghan Markle—With a Special Meaning for the New Mom," 3 July 2019 Davis will be wearing a Lakers uniform on the cover when the game is released Sept. 6, two months after the trade is scheduled to become official. Arash Markazi, latimes.com, "Lakers’ Anthony Davis breaks silence to talk LeBron James, L.A., No. 23 and titles," 1 July 2019 The deals listed on this page, unless otherwise noted, are simply agreements, and can't become official until the moratorium period ends on July 6. Aj Neuharth-keusch, USA TODAY, "NBA free agency tracker: Live updates, analysis for all of the top players," 30 June 2019 His trade to the Dodgers, for five minor leaguers, became official the next day. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Manny Machado returns to Baltimore with Padres," 24 June 2019 That accomplishment became official on Monday night at the NBA Awards in Santa Monica, California, where Antetokounmpo – surrounded by his family – took home the Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo earns NBA's MVP," 24 June 2019 In June 2007, six months into her first term, Klobuchar did in fact vote in favor of an amendment to an immigration reform bill that would have made English the official national language. Adam Edelman, NBC News, "Klobuchar responds to question about past support for making English official language of U.S.," 22 June 2019 This was 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official Jan. 1, 1863. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "What is June 19? An explanation of the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery," 18 June 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

7 Jul 2019

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 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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