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authority - definition and synonyms


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noun authority pronunciation in American English /ɔˈθɔrəti/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [uncountable] the power to make decisions or tell people what to do
    In practice it is difficult for the President to exercise his authority.
    have the authority to do something: They don’t have the authority to close the canal.
    authority over: Parents have legal authority over their children.
    1. a.
      the power to influence other people because they respect your opinions or knowledge
      with authority: It is a subject on which she can write with authority.
  2. 2

    the authorities

    [plural] the police or people in other official organizations with legal power to make people obey laws or rules
    The girl told the authorities that she had been kidnapped from her home.
    The French authorities have refused to issue him a visa.
  3. 3
    [countable] an organization or institution that controls something, often a public service
    the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
    The rules are set by the city transit authority.
  4. 4
    [countable] someone who is considered an expert in a particular subject
    authority on: Charles was an authority on antique musical instruments.
    1. a.
      something such as a book that people respect because it contains a great deal of knowledge about a particular subject
      authority on: The book is widely acknowledged to be the authority on regional expressions.
  5. 5
    [uncountable] formal official permission to do something
    He believed he had authority to ride the bike.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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a stupid person

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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