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Usage statistics for the noun authority:

spoken English36.75%written English63.25% conversational speech3.11%task-oriented speech96.89% imaginative writing10.31%informational writing89.69%
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The word authority and its family (authoritative, authorities) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

Video footage: Authority man giving order to launch nuclear bomb and tracking it on digital screen.
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Definition of the noun authority

What does authority mean as a name of something?

Authority is one of the top 100 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 100 most common nouns in informational written English.View more statistics!

noun - plural: authorities

  1. the power or right to give orders or make decisions
  2. (usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others
  3. an expert whose views are taken as definitive
    • example: he is an authority on corporate law
    • lexical domain: People - nouns denoting people
    • more generic word: expert = a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully
    • more specific terms:
  4. freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities
  5. an administrative unit of government
  6. official permission or approval
  7. an authoritative written work
    • example: this book is the final authority on the life of Milton
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • more generic word: book = a written work or composition that has been published
    • more specific term: last word = an authoritative statement

Alternative definition of the noun authority


  1. [uncountable] The power to enforce rules or give orders.
  2. [context: used in singular or plural form] Persons in command; specifically, government.
  3. [countable] A person accepted as a source of reliable information on a subject.


  1. "Authority" is a musical album of Client.
    • released on
  2. "Authority" is a musical single of Biohazard.
    • released in (20 years ago)
  3. "Authority" is a composition.
  4. "Authority" is a composition.


"Authority" is a book by E. D. Watt.


"Authority" is a film, directed by Cemal Çelik.


  1. Authority in management is the formal or legitimate authority specified in a character that gives a project manager the authority to act in the name of the sponsoring executive or on behalf on the organization.
  2. The authority that classified this Mineral Group.

Phrases with Authority

  1. authority figure
  2. good authority
  3. civil authority
  4. local authority
  5. Moral authority
  6. Postal Authority
  7. Public Authority
  8. Rudder Authority
  9. Verbal Authority
  10. Aileron Authority
  11. supreme authority
  12. Elevator Authority
  13. Appeal to Authority
  14. palestine authority
  15. regulatory authority
  16. Certificate authority
  17. redevelopment authority
  18. palestine national authority
  19. palestinian national authority

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Authority

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewLeadership (2016)

by CTI Reviews

A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state's currency, money supply, and...

Google previewAnarchism and Authority (2012)

A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism by Mr Paul McLaughlin

Moral authority is the right to issue theoretical directives with practical force or moral principles that govern practice...

Google previewManagement (2012)

by Chuck Williams

Line authority is the right to command immediate subordinates in the chain of command. For example, Sony CEO Howard Stringer has line authority over the head of Sony's Professional, Device 8: Solutions Group, which includes Sony's ...

Google previewPublic Administration Workbook (2010)

by Pathi

Hence authority is the attribute of a position and not of a person. It is a facility or...

Authority is the right to give orders and power to exact obedience.

Google previewAuthority in the Roman Catholic Church (2017)

Theory and Practice by Bernard Hoose

Authority is a word derived from the Latin for author (auctor) and so pertains to the source of something...

Google previewAUTHORITY - CONTROL? OR RELEASE! (2014)

by Ted J. Hanson

True authority is a given substance of life that enables you to fulfill your responsibilities in life in a way that brings life to others.

Google previewDictionary of Military Terms (2009)

by U.S. Department of Defense

combatant command (command authority) — Nontransferable command authority established by title 10 (“Armed Forces”), ...

Google previewDictionary of Health Information Technology and Security (2007)

The other components are public key encryptions, trusted third parties (such as the certification authority), and mechanisms for certificate publication and issuing. PUBLICKEY CRYPTOLOGY: Security measure wherealinked pair of encryptor ...

Google previewThe SAGE Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry (2014)

by Thomas A. Schwandt

Authority. This notion figures prominently in postmodern and poststructuralist criticisms of ethnography wherein it is commonplace to criticize a Authenticity Authenticity Criteria Authority.

Google previewRoutledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning (2013)

by Michael Byram, Adelheid Hu

lists six means of the desuggestive¥suggestive process: authority, infantilisation, double-planeness, intonation, rhythm, and concert pseudopassiveness.

Google previewA Dictionary of the Church (1839)

Containing an Exposition of Terms, Phrases and Subjects Connected with the External Order, Sacraments, Worship and Usages of the Protestant Episcopal Church : with an Especial Reference to the Church in the United States by William Staunton

a competent authority, is also used as a designation of an ecclesiastical or devotional form; thus the form set forth for the Institution of Ministers is called an “ Office.” Bishop Sparrow remarks, that “the Common Prayer Book contains in it many ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of Catholicism (2012)

by William J. Collinge

Authority to teach. Medieval theologians, Thomas Aquinas for instance, spoke of a magisterium, or teaching authority, belonging to teachers of theology in the universities and a magisterium belonging to bishops. This usage persisted into the ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Law Enforcement (2004)

by Larry E Sullivan, Marie Simonetti Rosen, Dorothy M Schulz, M. R. Haberfeld

The Tennessee Valley Authority Police (TVAP) is a federally commissioned, internationally accredited law enforcement agency that provides protection for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) properties and employees as well as the 100 ...

Google previewA New English-Hindustani Dictionary (1883)

With Illustrations from English Literature and Colloquial English, Tr. Into Hindustani by S. W. Fallon

having weight or authority, ...

Google previewThe Encyclopaedia and Dictionary of Education (1922)

A Comprehensive, Practical and Authoritative Guide on All Matters Connected with Education, Including Educational Principles and Practice, Various Types of Teaching Institutions, and Educational Systems Throughout the World by Foster Watson

The authority is empowered further to discontinue the maintenance of a certified special school or class which for the previous three years has had an average attendance of less than fifteen, but it must at the same time make such alternative ...

Google previewAmerican Business and Accounting Encyclopedia (1918)

A Standard Reference Book for Accountants and Business Men

General authority cannot be limited by any private order or direction not known to the party dealing with him. Limited Authority is where the agent is bound by precise instruction. Special Authority is that which is confined to an individual ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Authority

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Usage statistics about authority

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the noun authority:

spoken English36.75%written English63.25% conversational speech3.11%task-oriented speech96.89% imaginative writing10.31%informational writing89.69%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun authority:


Photos about Authority

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View more pictures about Port authority.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Hand controlling businessman puppet on white isolated background. Authority and manipulation conceptSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gemsSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gemsSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gemsSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gemsSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gemsSmall photo of Golden royal regalia and symbol of authority decorated with gems More...

Video language resources about Authority

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View more videos about with authority, Local Authority, Moral authority, Postal authority, Public Authority, Rudder Authority, Verbal Authority, Aileron Authority, Elevator Authority, Appeal to authority, and Certificate authority.

See also the pronunciation examples of Authority!

Quotes about Authority

There are questions of real power and then there are questions of phony authority. You have to break through the phony authority to begin to fight the real questions of power. (Angel Blessing)
more quotes about authority...

Scrabble value of A1U1T1H4O1R1I1T1Y4

The value of this 9-letter word is 15 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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