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

Beyond that, moving children to a family that government officials prefer is what authoritarian regimes all through history have done. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "The U.S. Is Tracking Migrant Girls' Periods to Stop Them From Getting Abortions," 2 Apr. 2019 Typical launches would only be tended by the Go Searcher, but the additional staff on board necessitated a second ship, NASA officials say. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How It Works: SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashdown and Recovery," 8 Mar. 2019 In October 2014, the two become Instagram official with a couples Halloween costume. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Everything You Need to Know About All of Kylie Jenner's Ex-Boyfriends," 20 Mar. 2019 Adam Myrick says that officials responded to a call from the couple's home at 4:30 a.m. on March 12. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'The Amazing Race' Contestant Dr. Jim Raman Has Passed Away at 42," 15 Mar. 2019 As a member of the 2016 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, Lee first helped write Hyde’s repeal into the party’s official set of values. Christine Grimaldi, Vogue, "Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban," 12 Mar. 2019 What do Downe House officials have to say about claims that Kate was bullied there? Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Was "Desperately Unhappy" and Tortured by Bullies at Her First Secondary School, Downe House," 10 Mar. 2019 The Queen posted her first Instagram account today on the @royalfamily official account. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Just Posted Her First Instagram, So Consider Her Your New Favorite Influencer," 7 Mar. 2019 At the Barcelona telecom-industry conference where U.S. officials plan... Stu Woo, WSJ, "Nokia Positions Itself as More Secure Than Rival Huawei," 24 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There's no word on an official release date, but THR confirmed that this version will take inspiration from the classic fairytale. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Camila Cabello Is Playing Cinderella in a New Remake," 9 Apr. 2019 No official date has been announced yet beyond the confirmation that the show will air in the U.K. sometime in 2019. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Peaky Blinders Season 5: Everything We Know So Far," 7 Apr. 2019 An article in an official army periodical is being ridiculed for claiming that the Russian military has psychic abilities and has used them in wartime. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Journal Claims Russian Troops Have Psychic Powers," 4 Apr. 2019 To enter, simply head to amazon.com/Coachellagiveaway for more details and the official rules. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Amazon Just Made Shopping for Coachella Way Easier With Its First Festival-Inspired Storefront," 27 Mar. 2019 Now, as April 5 (her official end date) approaches, the show's cast is getting increasingly sentimental about the fourth-hour host — and for good reason. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kathie Lee Gifford Is Leaving 'Today' Very Soon and the Show's Cast Has Feelings About That," 13 Mar. 2019 No official date for the first episode has been set. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Katy Keene: Everything We Know So Far About the Riverdale Spinoff," 12 Mar. 2019 But because of Dane’s efforts, there has been an official recognition that snowballs are no longer an offensive object. Emily S. Rueb, The Seattle Times, "9-year-old boy helps repeal snowball-throwing ban in Colorado town," 5 Dec. 2018 Fire coordinator Brad Price, 49, of Wewahitchka was on his tractor when he was killed Thursday, the Gulf County Sheriff's Office said on its official Facebook page. Fox News, "Missing Florida woman's body recovered amid rubble," 19 Oct. 2018

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

14 Apr 2019

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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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Comments on official

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