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 (ə-thôr′ĭ-tē, ə-thŏr′-, ô-)
n. pl. au·thor·i·ties
a. The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.
b. One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials: land titles issued by the civil authority.
2. Power assigned to another; authorization: Deputies were given authority to make arrests.
3. A public agency or corporation with administrative powers in a specified field: a city transit authority.
a. An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority.
b. A quotation or citation from such a source: biblical authorities for a moral argument.
5. Justification; grounds: On what authority do you make such a claim?
6. A conclusive statement or decision that may be taken as a guide or precedent.
7. Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience: political observers who acquire authority with age.
8. Confidence derived from experience or practice; firm self-assurance: played the sonata with authority.

[Middle English auctorite, from Old French autorite, from Latin auctōritās, auctōritāt-, from auctor, creator; see author.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.authorities - the organization that is the governing authority of a political unitauthorities - the organization that is the governing authority of a political unit; "the government reduced taxes"; "the matter was referred to higher authorities"
governing, government activity, government, governance, administration - the act of governing; exercising authority; "regulations for the governing of state prisons"; "he had considerable experience of government"
polity - a politically organized unit
authoritarian regime, authoritarian state - a government that concentrates political power in an authority not responsible to the people
bureaucracy - a government that is administered primarily by bureaus that are staffed with nonelective officials
ancien regime - a political and social system that no longer governs (especially the system that existed in France before the French Revolution)
royal court, court - the sovereign and his advisers who are the governing power of a state
Downing Street - the British government
empire - a group of countries under a single authority; "the British created a great empire"
federal government - a government with strong central powers
government-in-exile - a temporary government moved to or formed in a foreign land by exiles who hope to rule when their country is liberated
local government - the government of a local area
military government, stratocracy - government by the military and an army
palace - the governing group of a kingdom; "the palace issued an order binding on all subjects"
papacy, pontificate - the government of the Roman Catholic Church
government department - a department of government
law-makers, legislative assembly, legislative body, legislature, general assembly - persons who make or amend or repeal laws
governance, governing body, organisation, administration, brass, establishment, organization - the persons (or committees or departments etc.) who make up a body for the purpose of administering something; "he claims that the present administration is corrupt"; "the governance of an association is responsible to its members"; "he quickly became recognized as a member of the establishment"
executive - persons who administer the law
judiciary, bench - persons who administer justice
judicatory, judicial system, judiciary, judicature - the system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government
pupet regime, puppet government, puppet state - a government that is appointed by and whose affairs are directed by an outside authority that may impose hardships on those governed
state - the group of people comprising the government of a sovereign state; "the state has lowered its income tax"
division - an administrative unit in government or business
state government - the government of a state in the United States
totalitarian state, totalitation regime - a government that subordinates the individual to the state and strictly controls all aspects of life by coercive measures
government officials, officialdom - people elected or appointed to administer a government
References in classic literature ?
I demand your authorities for such an uncharitable assertion (like other advocates of a system, David was not always accurate in his use of terms).
Higginson, and the outpouring of a psalm from the general throat of the community, was to be made acceptable to the grosser sense by ale, cider, wine, and brandy, in copious effusion, and, as some authorities aver, by an ox, roasted whole, or at least, by the weight and substance of an ox, in more manageable joints and sirloins.
Listen to what the best and latest authorities have laid down.
But, by the best contradictory authorities, this Grecian story of Hercules and the whale is considered to be derived from the still more ancient Hebrew story of Jonah and the whale; and vice versa; certainly they are very similar.
That he was utterly helpless, and had no means of keeping himself alive in the meantime, was something which did not concern the hospital authorities, nor any one else in the city.
When despairing Hungarian fugitives make their way, against all the search-warrants and authorities of their lawful government, to America, press and political cabinet ring with applause and welcome.
were not the best way, methinks, albeit it is not to be denied that authorities differ as concerning this point, some contending that the onion is but an un- wholesome berry when stricken early from the tree --"
I will go on examining authorities and reporting progress until she is well enough to get me out of this scrape by presiding herself.
the public authorities, all over Germany, allow the five
Some authorities think different, but mostly it's considered best to kill them -- except some that you bring to the cave here, and keep them till they're ransomed.
There was no getting around the authorities, so Joe turned, received the whack and fell.
The Simpsons' moving was presided over by the village authorities and somewhat anxiously watched by the entire neighborhood, but in spite of all precautions a pulpit chair, several kerosene lamps, and a small stove disappeared from the church and were successfully swapped in the course of Mr.

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