authority Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “authority” in the English Dictionary

"authority" in British English

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authoritynoun

uk   /ɔːˈθɒr.ɪ.ti/  us   /əˈθɔːr.ɪ.t̬i/
  • authority noun (POWER)

B2 [U] the ​moral or ​legalright or ​ability to ​control: The United Nations has used/​exerted/​exercisedits authority torestorepeace in the ​area. We need to get the ​support of someone in authority (= an ​important or ​high-rankingperson). They've been ​actingillegally and without authority (= ​permission) from the ​council. [+ to infinitive] I'll give my ​lawyers authority (= ​permission) toact 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 ​specialknowledge).C1 [C] a ​group of ​people with ​officialresponsibility for a ​particulararea of ​activity: the ​health authority the ​localhousing authoritythe authorities [plural] the ​group of ​people with ​officiallegalpower to make ​decisions or make ​peopleobey the ​laws in a ​particulararea, such as the ​police or a ​localgovernmentdepartment: I'm going to ​report these ​potholes to the authorities.

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(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"authority" in American English

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authoritynoun [C/U]

 us   /əˈθɔr·ɪ·t̬i, əˈθɑr-/
the ​power to ​control or ​demandobedience 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 ​officialresponsibility for a ​particulararea of ​activity: [C] government/​church authorities The authorities are the ​police or other ​governmentofficials: No ​attacks were ​reported to the authorities. An authority on a ​subject is an ​expert on it: [C] an authority on ​immigrationlaw
(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"authority" in Business English

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authoritynoun

uk   us   /ɔːˈθɒrəti/
[U] the ​officialpower to make decisions for other ​people or to tell them what they must do: The Executive Committee can ​delegate authority to the Chairperson. He did not have enough authority within the ​company to make the decision.the authority to do sth The ​federalgovernment has the authority to ​regulatephoneserviceprovided over the ​internet.authority over sb The accrediting ​board is the ​legal body with authority over the ​institution.
[U] officialpermission or the ​legalright to do something: grant/give sb authority to do sth Under the new ​plan, counties would be given the authority to ​raisesalestaxlevels.the authority to do sth The ​company had the owner's authority to ​contract on his behalf.
[usually plural] GOVERNMENT an ​officialorganization, often ​created by the ​government, which is ​responsible for ​managing a particular ​duty or ​service: the authorities All ​staff who ​work at the school must be ​registered and ​checked by the authorities.the housing/transit/tax authority The city's ​housing authority ​providesassistedhousing for more than 130,000 ​residents.
[U] the ​ability to ​influence other ​people and make them ​respect you, especially because you are confident or have a lot of ​knowledge: When answering ​questions at a ​jobinterview, be sure to speak clearly and with authority. As a ​manager he ​lacks authority.
[C] someone who is an ​expert on a particular ​subject, and whose ​opinionsinfluence other ​people: an authority on sth Today's speaker is one of the nation's ​leading authorities on fund-raising for ​non-profitgroups.
(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“authority” in British English

“authority” in Business English

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