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 University of Central Florida has installed cameras at entrances and exits to scan the license plates of cars on campus and check them against law enforcement databases, officials said Thursday. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF scanning license plates of cars coming or going from campus to check against police databases," 20 June 2019 Under Preckwinkle’s leadership, Cook County has reduced its full-time employees by 14 percent, officials said. Lolly Bowean, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says county’s facing ‘very modest’ budget shortfall," 20 June 2019 The evacuation affects 250 residences, officials said. Aubrey Carpenter, azcentral, "Roosevelt residents ordered to evacuate because of Woodbury Fire," 20 June 2019 Two lanes of southbound Interstate 805 in Otay Mesa were closed Thursday morning after a collision involving a wrong-way driver left one person injured, officials said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2 lanes closed after wrongway driver involved in crash on south I-805 in Otay Mesa," 20 June 2019 The average global temperature in May was 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average of 58.6 degrees, making it the 413th consecutive month with above-average temperatures, officials said. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "The heat is on! Temperatures to flirt with record highs this weekend," 20 June 2019 The Brantley Gilbert concert scheduled for Thursday night at Rivebend Music Center has been canceled due to the weather, officials said. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Riverbend cancels Thursday concert due to 'unprecedented' rainfall," 20 June 2019 The events leading to the shooting began around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, when police received a call about a domestic disturbance between a man and woman, officials said. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "Sacramento police officer from Bay Area killed, allegedly by man with domestic violence record," 20 June 2019 There are now dozens of North Shore churches involved in the effort, officials said. Kim Chatelain, nola.com, "35 years in the making, new food bank taking shape in Covington," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The bulky bronze statue of the official state animal showcases California’s environmental focus, which sadly developed only after the last remaining grizzly was shot nearly a century ago. The Economist, "The environmentCalifornia is a leader on environmentalism," 21 June 2019 Alexander Korobkin, an environmental services official, told AFP. Author: Tim Balk, Anchorage Daily News, "Starving polar bear wanders into Russian city far south of Arctic Ocean," 20 June 2019 Schlitterbahn Waterparks is celebrating its 40th anniversary June 21, just in time for the official start of the summer. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Schlitterbahn Waterparks celebrates 40th anniversary in Galveston with freebies," 20 June 2019 Friday brings the official beginning of summer and the longest sunlight of the year. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "Weekend preview: More sun, more yoga, Tom Petty, Patrick and the Swayzees," 19 June 2019 Don't Let the Sun Set Summer Solstice Celebration: The resort's first anniversary and the official first day of summer are celebrated to support Autism Speaks and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. chicagotribune.com, "Calendar: Play-Doh playdate Thursday in Lake Forest," 18 June 2019 Nio is cooperating with an official investigation into an ES8 fire in Shanghai, with the cause of the blaze to be made public once the report is finalized, said Izzy Zhu, a Nio vice president in charge of user development. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Tesla and Nio fires in China spur electric-car safety checkups," 17 June 2019 Since its official beginning as a brand in 1947, Doc Martens shoes have truly never gone out of style. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Doc Martens and Lazy Oaf Partnered on Their Second Shoe Collaboration," 17 June 2019 The Texans will continue their search for a general manager, though the team could have no official GM in 2019, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Texans End Pursuit of Nick Caserio for GM Opening, Patriots Drop Tampering Charges," 14 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

23 Jun 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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