mid-15c., posthumus, "born after the death of the originator" (author or father), from Late Latin posthumus, from Latin postumus "last," especially "last-born," superlative of posterus "coming after, subsequent" (see posterior). Altered in Late Latin by association with Latin humare "to bury," suggesting death; the one born after the father is in the ground obviously being his last. An Old English word for this was æfterboren, literally "after-born." Related: Posthumously.
c. 1600, "dictatorial" (a sense now restricted to authoritarian), earlier auctoritative (implied in auctoritativeli "with official approval or sanction"), from Medieval Latin auctoritativus, from Latin auctoritatem (see authority).
The meaning "having due authority, entitled to credence or obedience" is from 1650s; that of "proceeding from proper authority" is from 1809. Related: Authoritatively; authoritativeness.
"cunning, deceitful, habitually duplicitous, unscrupulous, destitute of political morality," 1570s, from Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), Florentine statesman and author of "Il Principe," a work advising rulers to place advantage above morality. A word of abuse in English well before his works were translated ("The Discourses" in 1636, "The Prince" in 1640), in part because his books were Indexed by the Church, in part because of French attacks on him (such as Gentillet's, translated into English 1602). Related: Machiavellianism.
1670s, from Latinized form of Greek dēmiourgos, literally "public or skilled worker, worker for the people," from dēmos "common people" (see demotic) + -ergos "that works," from ergon "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to do").
The title of a magistrate in some Peloponnesian city-states and the Achæan League; taken in Platonic philosophy as a name for the maker of the world. In the Gnostic system, "conceived as a being subordinate to the Supreme Being, and sometimes as the author of evil" [OED]. Related: Demiurgic; demiurgical (c. 1600); demiurgeous.
late 14c., "writer of commentaries," agent noun in Latin form from comment or commentary (Latin commentator meant "inventor, author," in Late Latin "interpreter"). Meaning "writer of notes or expository comments" is from 1640s; sense of "one who gives commentary" (originally in sports) is from 1928. Related: Commentatorial.
"Well, Jem, what is a commentator?["]—"Why," was Jem's reply, "I suppose it must be the commonest of all taturs." ["Smart Sayings of Bright Children," collected by Howard Paul, 1886]