au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ə-ˈthȯr-ə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce authoritative (audio) , ȯ-, -ˈthär- \

Definition of authoritative

1 : having, marked by, or proceeding from authority authoritative church doctrines an authoritative decision an authoritative manner
2 : possessing recognized or evident authority : clearly accurate or knowledgeable an authoritative critique an authoritative source of information

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Other Words from authoritative

authoritatively adverb
authoritativeness noun

Synonyms for authoritative


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Examples of authoritative in a Sentence

The book is an authoritative guide to the city's restaurants. His manner is polite but authoritative. She addressed the group with an authoritative voice.
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Recent Examples on the Web The first truth-teller, according to John Carreyrou’s authoritative 2018 book Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, was the company’s chief financial officer, Henry Mosley. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 2 Sep. 2021 The Calder’s performances here and elsewhere were authoritative. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Aug. 2021 The report is the world’s most authoritative summary of climate science, compiled by hundreds of scientists about twice per decade since 1990. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, 9 Aug. 2021 Nasha Niva, which was founded in 1906, is the oldest and the most authoritative Belarusian media outlet. Yuras Karmanau, Star Tribune, 8 July 2021 Just give Falcón, a veteran stage and film actress from Mexico — who has the chops to play women who are authoritative and sultry in both English and Spanish — something original to work with. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2021 Fortunate, because there is no writer more authoritative, nor any more eloquent, to speak about the natural world. Washington Post, 14 May 2021 The offerings meet independent and authoritative standards, either for personal well-being or a reduced impact on the environment, according to Walmart, the world's largest retailer. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 21 Sep. 2021 Hood was more laconic that Ramnanan, and perhaps slightly more authoritative. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 21 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'authoritative.' 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 authoritative

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for authoritative

see authority

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Time Traveler for authoritative

Time Traveler

The first known use of authoritative was in 1606

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Authoritative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of authoritative

: having or showing impressive knowledge about a subject
: having the confident quality of someone who is respected or obeyed by other people


au·​thor·​i·​ta·​tive | \ ə-ˈthȯr-ə-ˌtā-tiv How to pronounce authoritative (audio) \

Kids Definition of authoritative

: having or coming from authority an authoritative order

Other Words from authoritative

authoritatively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on authoritative

Nglish: Translation of authoritative for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of authoritative for Arabic Speakers


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