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English definition of “authority”

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authority

noun uk   /ɔːˈθɒr.ɪ.ti/ us    /əˈθɔːr.ɪ.t̬i/

authority noun (POWER)

B2 [U] the moral or legal right or ability to control: The United Nations has used/exerted/exercised its authority to restore peace in the area. We need to get the support of someone in authority (= an important or high-ranking person). They've been acting illegally and without authority (= permission) from the council. [+ to infinitive] I'll give my lawyers authority (= permission) to act on my behalf. He has no authority over (= ability to control) his students. She spoke with authority (= as if she was in control or had special knowledge).C1 [C] a group of people with official responsibility for a particular area of activity: the health authority the local housing authoritythe authorities [plural] the group of people with official legal power to make decisions or make people obey the laws in a particular area, such as the police or a local government department: I'm going to report these potholes to the authorities.
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authority noun (EXPERT)

C2 [C] an expert on a subject: She's a world authority on 19th-century Irish history.
(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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