Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “authority”

authority

noun
 
 
/ɔːˈθɒrəti/
[U] the official power 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 federal government has the authority to regulate phone service provided over the internet.authority over sb The accrediting board is the legal body with authority over the institution.
[U] official permission or the legal right to do something: grant/give sb authority to do sth Under the new plan, counties would be given the authority to raise sales tax levels.the authority to do sth The company had the owner's authority to contract on his behalf.
[usually plural] GOVERNMENT an official organization, 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 provides assisted housing 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 job interview, 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 opinions influence other people: an authority on sth Today's speaker is one of the nation's leading authorities on fund-raising for non-profit groups.
→ See also certificate authority, classification authority, the Financial Services Authority, health authority, line authority, local authority, port authority, the Securities and Futures Authority
(Definition of authority from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of authority?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “authority” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

innovate

to introduce changes and new ideas

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More