POWER[U]›the official power to make decisions or to control other people: a position of authority[+ to do sth]The investigators have the authority to examine all the company's records.We need the support of someone in authority.
OFFICIAL GROUP[C]›an official group or government department with power to control particular public services: the local housing authority
QUALITY[U]›the quality of being confident and being able to control people: She has an air of authority.
an authority on sth›someone who has a lot of knowledge about a particular subject: She is an authority on seventeenth-century English literature. → See alsolocal authority