Etymology
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authority (n.)

13世纪, autorite, auctorite “权威的段落或声明, 解决论点的书或引文, 来自圣经的段落”, 来自古法语 autorité, auctorité “权威, 威望, 权利, 许可, 尊严, 重力; 圣经” (12世纪; 现代法语 autorité), 来自拉丁文 auctoritatem (名词 auctoritas) “发明, 建议, 意见, 影响, 命令”, 来自 auctor “主人, 领袖, 作者” (见 author (n.) ). 在16世纪之前, 英语中通常用 -c- 拼写, 当时这个字母是模仿法语而去掉的, 然后用 -th-, 可能是受 authentic 的影响.

从14世纪一般意义上说是“法律效力”, 也有“权威的书; 权威的学说” (与理性或经验相对); “作者的陈述被认为是正确的”. 从14世纪中叶起作“统治或命令的权利, 强制服从的权力, 命令或行为的权力或权利”. 在中古英语中也有“从良好声誉中获得的权力; 说服人们的权力, 激发信任的能力”. 从15世纪起作“官方批准, 授权”. 意为“有权力的人”, 出自1610年代; Authorities “掌管者, 有警察权力的人” 的记载出自19世纪中叶.

Origin and meaning of authority

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Definitions of authority

authority (n.)
the power or right to give orders or make decisions;
he has the authority to issue warrants
Synonyms: authorization / authorisation / potency / dominance / say-so
authority (n.)
(usually plural) persons who exercise (administrative) control over others;
authority (n.)
an expert whose views are taken as definitive;
he is an authority on corporate law
authority (n.)
freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities;
she spoke with authority
authority (n.)
an administrative unit of government;
Synonyms: agency / federal agency / government agency / bureau / office
authority (n.)
official permission or approval;
authority for the program was renewed several times
authority (n.)
an authoritative written work;
this book is the final authority on the life of Milton
From wordnet.princeton.edu