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English definition of “authority”

authority

noun (POWER)    /ɔːˈθɒr.ɪ.ti/ US  /əˈθɔːr.ɪ.t̬i/
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's got no authority over (= ability to control ) his students . She spoke with authority (= as if she was in control or had special knowledge ).People in charge of or controlling other peopleBosses, managers and directors C1 [C] a group of people with official responsibility for a particular area of activity : the health authority the local housing authorityPeople in charge of or controlling other peopleBosses, managers and directors the 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 holes in the road to the authorities .Local government and politics
(Definition of authority noun (POWER) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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