Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to authorities: arthritis


 (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 ?
In the former case, all local authorities are subordinate to the supreme; and may be controlled, directed, or abolished by it at pleasure.
As one reads history, not in the expurgated editions written for school-boys and passmen, but in the original authorities of each time, one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalised by the habitual employment of punishment, than it is by the occurrence of crime.
If I wanted other authorities for Jarndyce and Jarndyce, I could rain them on these pages, to the shame of--a parsimonious public.
I do not think it necessary to add to these notable facts, and that general reference to the authorities which will be found at page
But somehow, when it comes to the church, we seem to be nervous about exercising that same kind of trust in church authorities, tradition, or scripture.
Rising costs and pressure from federal housing officials have caused all but six of the nation's 3,400 housing authorities to switch the burden of patrol to local law enforcement agencies.
Recently, a national effort got under way to encourage the modernization of public health authorities.
If the Competent Authorities are unable to reach an agreement, it is the taxpayer that will suffer.
The Church authorities do not know what God wants of us.
6662-4(d)(3)(i) provides that substantial authority exists only if the taxpayer's weight of authority is substantial in relation to contrary authorities.
The legislature took action authorizing counties to establish Public Authorities as independent public entities to administer the IHSS program and requiring that such Public Authorities:
2) Foreign monetary authorities were obliged to intervene in foreign exchange markets to maintain the value of their currencies within 1 percent of their dollar parities.

Full browser ?