W1 [o:ˈθɔrıti, ə- US əˈθa:-, əˈθo:-] n plural authorities
2 the authorities
6 authority figure
7¦(personal quality)¦
8 I have it on good authority
9 speak with authority
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: auctorité, from Latin auctoritas 'opinion, decision, power', from auctor; AUTHOR1]
1.) ¦(POWER)¦[U]
the power you have because of your official position
people in positions of authority
in authority
Could I speak to someone in authority (=who has a position of power) please?
authority over
Several countries claim authority over the islands.
authority to do sth
The court held that school officials have the authority to dismiss teachers.
2.) the authorities
the people or organizations that are in charge of a particular country or area
an agreement between the US and Columbian authorities
an official organization or a government department that has the power to make decisions, and has particular responsibilities
the local authority
East Sussex Education Authority
the San Diego Water Authority
Welsh health authorities face a £13m deficit this year.
4.) ¦(EXPERT)¦
someone who knows a lot about a subject and whose knowledge and opinions are greatly respected
authority on
Mr Li is a leading authority on Chinese food.
5.) ¦(PERMISSION)¦ [U and C]
official permission to do something
under the authority of sb
The attack took place under the authority of the UN security council.
without sb's authority
No one may enter without my authority.
6.) authority figure
someone who has a position of power, especially because of their job
teenage rebellion against authority figures
a quality in the way you speak or behave which makes people obey you
Jack's air of quiet authority
8.) I have it on good authority
used to say that you are sure that something is true because you trust the person who told you about it
9.) speak with authority
to be sure of what you are saying, because of your knowledge or experience

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • authority — au·thor·i·ty n pl ties 1: an official decision of a court used esp. as a precedent 2 a: a power to act esp. over others that derives from status, position, or office the authority of the president; also: jurisdiction b: the power to act …   Law dictionary

  • Authority — Au*thor i*ty, n.; pl. {Authorities}. [OE. autorite, auctorite, F. autorit[ e], fr. L. auctoritas, fr. auctor. See {Author}, n.] 1. Legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; power exercised buy a person in virtue of his office or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • authority — [ə thôr′ə tē, əthär′ə tē] n. pl. authorities [ME autorite < OFr autorité, auctorité < L auctoritas < auctor, AUTHOR] 1. a) the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction b) the… …   English World dictionary

  • authority — (n.) early 13c., autorite book or quotation that settles an argument, from O.Fr. auctorité authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures (12c.; Mod.Fr. autorité), from L. auctoritatem (nom. auctoritas) invention, advice …   Etymology dictionary

  • authority — [n1] power, control ascendancy, authorization, beef*, charge, clout*, command, credit, domination, dominion, edge, esteem, force, goods*, government, guts*, influence, juice*, jump, jurisdiction, leg up*, license, mastery, might, might and main* …   New thesaurus

  • authority — /auˈtɔriti, ingl. ɔːˈθHrɪtɪ/ [lett. «autorità»] s. f. inv. autorità, organo di vigilanza …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • authority — 1 *power, jurisdiction, command, control, dominion, sway Analogous words: ascendancy, *supremacy: government, ruling or rule (see corresponding verbs at GOVERN) 2 *influence, weight, credit, prestige Analogous words: exemplar, ideal, standard, p …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • authority — ► NOUN (pl. authorities) 1) the power or right to give orders and enforce obedience. 2) a person or organization having official power. 3) recognized knowledge or expertise. 4) an authoritative person or book. ORIGIN Old French autorite, from… …   English terms dictionary

  • Authority — In politics, authority (Latin auctoritas , used in Roman law as opposed to potestas and imperium ) is often used interchangeably with the term power . However, their meanings differ: while power refers to the ability to achieve certain ends,… …   Wikipedia

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  • authority — n. control power 1) to assume; delegate; demonstrate, show; establish; exercise, wield; invoke authority 2) to defy; deny, reject; undermine authority 3) absolute, complete, full, supreme, unquestioned; parental authority 4) authority for; over… …   Combinatory dictionary

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