- 1 [uncountable] the power to give orders to people in a position of authority She now has authority over the people who used to be her bosses. Nothing will be done because no one in authority (= who has a position of power) takes the matter seriously.
- 2 [uncountable] authority (to do something) the power or right to do something Only the Board has the authority to approve the budget. We have the authority to search this building. permission
- 3 [uncountable] official permission to do something It was done without the principal's authority. We acted under the authority of the UN. organization
- 4 [countable, usually plural] the people or an organization who have the power to make decisions or who have a particular area of responsibility in a country or region The health authorities are investigating the problem. I have to report this to the authorities. the immigration authorities see also local authority knowledge
- 5 [uncountable] the power to influence people because they respect your knowledge or official position He spoke with authority on the topic. the moral authority to run the country expert
- 6[countable] authority (on something) a person with special knowledge synonym specialist She's an authority on criminal law. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French autorite, from Latin auctoritas, from auctor, from augere