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authority (n.)
c. 1200, autorite, auctorite "authoritative passage or statement, book or quotation that settles an argument, passage from Scripture," from Old French autorité, auctorité "authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures" (12c.; Modern French autorité), from Latin auctoritatem (nominative auctoritas) "invention, advice, opinion, influence, command," from auctor "master, leader, author" (see author (n.)). Usually spelled with a -c- in English before 16c., when the letter was dropped in imitation of French, then with a -th-, probably by influence of authentic.

From c. 1300 in the general sense "legal validity," also "authoritative book; authoritative doctrine" (opposed to reason or experience); "author whose statements are regarded as correct." From mid-14c. as "right to rule or command, power to enforce obedience, power or right to command or act." In Middle English also "power derived from good reputation; power to convince people, capacity for inspiring trust." From c. 1400 as "official sanction, authorization." Meaning "persons in authority" is from 1610s; Authorities "those in charge, those with police powers" is recorded from mid-19c.
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authoritarian (adj.)
"favoring imposed order over freedom," 1862, from authority + -an. Compare authoritative, which originally had this meaning to itself. Noun in the sense of one advocating or practicing the principle of authority over individual freedom is from 1859.
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authoritative (adj.)
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). Meaning "having due authority, entitled to credence or obedience" is from 1650s; that of "proceeding from proper authority" is from 1809. Related: Authoritatively; authoritativeness.
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author (n.)

mid-14c., auctor, autour, autor "father, creator, one who brings about, one who makes or creates" someone or something, from Old French auctor, acteor "author, originator, creator, instigator" (12c., Modern French auteur) and directly from Latin auctor "promoter, producer, father, progenitor; builder, founder; trustworthy writer, authority; historian; performer, doer; responsible person, teacher," literally "one who causes to grow," agent noun from auctus, past participle of augere "to increase," from PIE root *aug- (1) "to increase."

From late 14c. as "a writer, one who sets forth written statements, original composer of a writing" (as distinguished from a compiler, translator, copyist, etc.). Also from late 14c. as "source of authoritative information or opinion," now archaic but the sense behind authority, etc. In Middle English the word was sometimes confused with actor. The -t- changed to -th- 16c., on model of change in Medieval Latin, on mistaken assumption of Greek origin and confusion with authentic.

...[W]riting means revealing oneself to excess .... This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why even night is not night enough. ... I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar's outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up! [Franz Kafka, "Letters to Felice," 1913]
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mana (n.)
"power, authority, supernatural power," 1843, from Maori, "power, authority, supernatural power."
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imperium (n.)
"authority to command the national military forces," in extended use "an empire," 1650s, from Latin imperium "command, supreme authority, power" (see empire). Hence Latin phrase imperium in imperio "a state within a state."
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supremist (n.)
1640s, "one who holds supreme authority," from supreme + -ist.
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lieutenancy (n.)
"office or authority of a lieutenant," mid-15c., from lieutenant + abstract noun suffix -cy.
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disempower (v.)

"divest or deprive of power or authority," 1745; see dis- + empower. Related: Disempowered; disempowerment.

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free-thinker (n.)
"one not guided in belief by authority; one who submits the claims of authority to what he deems the test of reason," 1690s, from free (adj.) + think (v.) + agent noun suffix -er (1). Free-thought "rationalism" is from 1711. Related: Free-thinking.
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