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as in reason
something (as a belief) that serves as the basis for another thing I had good authority to believe that the information was correct

Synonyms & Similar Words

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as in source
something mentioned in a text as providing related and especially supporting information the Bible is the sole authority for his impassioned defense of creationism

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Synonym Chooser

How does the noun authority contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of authority are command, control, dominion, jurisdiction, power, and sway. While all these words mean "the right to govern or rule or determine," authority implies power for a specific purpose within specified limits.

granted the authority to manage her estate

When is command a more appropriate choice than authority?

While the synonyms command and authority are close in meaning, command implies the power to make arbitrary decisions and compel obedience.

the army officer in command

When would control be a good substitute for authority?

The meanings of control and authority largely overlap; however, control stresses the power to direct and restrain.

you are responsible for the students under your control

When might dominion be a better fit than authority?

The words dominion and authority can be used in similar contexts, but dominion stresses sovereign power or supreme authority.

given dominion over all the animals

When can jurisdiction be used instead of authority?

In some situations, the words jurisdiction and authority are roughly equivalent. However, jurisdiction applies to official power exercised within prescribed limits.

the bureau having jurisdiction over parks

In what contexts can power take the place of authority?

The words power and authority are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, power implies possession of ability to wield force, authority, or influence.

the power to mold public opinion

When could sway be used to replace authority?

The synonyms sway and authority are sometimes interchangeable, but sway suggests the extent of exercised power or influence.

the empire extended its sway over the region

Thesaurus Entries Near authority

Cite this Entry

“Authority.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/authority. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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