American English

Definition of official adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[only before noun] connected with the job of someone who is in a position of authority official responsibilities the governor's official residence He attended in his official capacity as mayor. This was her first official engagement. He made an official visit to Tokyo in March.
  2. 2[usually before noun] agreed to, said, done, etc. by someone who is in a position of authority an official announcement/decision/statement according to official statistics/figures the official biography of the President An official inquiry has been launched into the cause of the accident. The country's official language is Spanish. I intend to lodge an official complaint (= to complain to someone in authority). The news is not yet official.
  3. 3[only before noun] that is told to the public but may not be true I only knew the official version of events. The official story has always been that they are just good friends.
  4. 4[only before noun] formal and attended by people in authority an official function/reception The official opening is planned for October. opposite unofficial
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: official