authority - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “authority”

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authority

noun [C/U]  us   /əˈθɔr·ɪ·t̬i, əˈθɑr-/
the power to control or demand obedience from others: [U] The police have no legal authority in these disputes. [U] We have to find someone in authority (= a position of power). An authority is someone with official responsibility for a particular area of activity: [C] government/church authorities The authorities are the police or other government officials: No attacks were reported to the authorities. An authority on a subject is an expert on it: [C] an authority on immigration law
(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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