1 (often authorities) people with responsibility for making decisions
central, district, federal, local, municipal, regional
government, public
civil, civilian, military, religious, secular
education, health, housing, immigration, law enforcement, planning (BrE), regulatory, tax

The government is urging education authorities to spend less money.

the right of law enforcement authorities to take and retain photographs

appropriate, competent, proper, relevant, statutory

He had permission from the proper authorities.

alert, contact, inform, notify

The system notifies the authorities when a security breach occurs.

agree sth, claim sth, decide sth, deny sth, promise sth, recommend sth

The health authority denied negligence.

allow (sb) sth, approve sth, give (sb) sth, grant (sb) sth

The local authority has not granted planning permission.

refuse (sb) sth

Immigration authorities refused him entry to the country.

arrest sb, detain sb, seize sb/sth

German authorities arrested the author of the computer virus.

2 power/right to give orders
absolute, complete, full
highest, supreme, ultimate

The commander-in-chief exercises supreme authority within his zone.

constitutional, governmental, judicial, legal, political, presidential, regulatory
divine, religious

These men denied the divine authority of the Church.

lawful, legitimate

He acted without any legitimate authority.

have, possess

Parents have the authority to discipline their children.


He assumed full authority as tsar in 1689.

give sb, grant sb
assert, demonstrate, establish, exercise, exert, show, use, wield

The new manager obviously felt the need to demonstrate her authority.

delegate, transfer
cede, give up, relinquish
abuse, exceed, overstep

Some legal experts think the agency may have exceeded its authority.

accept, recognize, respect
challenge, defy, deny, question, rebel against, reject, undermine

She had challenged my authority once too often.


adult authority figures such as parents and teachers

in authority

I need to talk to someone in authority.

under the authority of

Border security will fall under the authority of the department.

This can only be done under the authority of the president.

without authority

He took the car without authority.

authority over

He refuses to relinquish authority over the design process.

an air of authority

He bore an air of authority.

a position of authority

She holds a position of authority in the local church.

3 person with special knowledge
foremost, leading, respected, world
cite, invoke

He justified his innovation by citing respected authorities.

authority on

She's a leading authority on genetics.

Collocations dictionary. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • authority — au·thor·i·ty n pl ties 1: an official decision of a court used esp. as a precedent 2 a: a power to act esp. over others that derives from status, position, or office the authority of the president; also: jurisdiction b: the power to act …   Law dictionary

  • Authority — Au*thor i*ty, n.; pl. {Authorities}. [OE. autorite, auctorite, F. autorit[ e], fr. L. auctoritas, fr. auctor. See {Author}, n.] 1. Legal or rightful power; a right to command or to act; power exercised buy a person in virtue of his office or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • authority — [ə thôr′ə tē, əthär′ə tē] n. pl. authorities [ME autorite < OFr autorité, auctorité < L auctoritas < auctor, AUTHOR] 1. a) the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action, or make final decisions; jurisdiction b) the… …   English World dictionary

  • authority — (n.) early 13c., autorite book or quotation that settles an argument, from O.Fr. auctorité authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures (12c.; Mod.Fr. autorité), from L. auctoritatem (nom. auctoritas) invention, advice …   Etymology dictionary

  • authority — [n1] power, control ascendancy, authorization, beef*, charge, clout*, command, credit, domination, dominion, edge, esteem, force, goods*, government, guts*, influence, juice*, jump, jurisdiction, leg up*, license, mastery, might, might and main* …   New thesaurus

  • authority — /auˈtɔriti, ingl. ɔːˈθHrɪtɪ/ [lett. «autorità»] s. f. inv. autorità, organo di vigilanza …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • authority — 1 *power, jurisdiction, command, control, dominion, sway Analogous words: ascendancy, *supremacy: government, ruling or rule (see corresponding verbs at GOVERN) 2 *influence, weight, credit, prestige Analogous words: exemplar, ideal, standard, p …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • authority — ► NOUN (pl. authorities) 1) the power or right to give orders and enforce obedience. 2) a person or organization having official power. 3) recognized knowledge or expertise. 4) an authoritative person or book. ORIGIN Old French autorite, from… …   English terms dictionary

  • Authority — In politics, authority (Latin auctoritas , used in Roman law as opposed to potestas and imperium ) is often used interchangeably with the term power . However, their meanings differ: while power refers to the ability to achieve certain ends,… …   Wikipedia

  • authority — A government or public agency created to perform a single function or a restricted group of related activities. Usually, such units are financed from service charges, fees, and tolls, but in some instances they also have taxing powers. An… …   Financial and business terms

  • authority — n. control power 1) to assume; delegate; demonstrate, show; establish; exercise, wield; invoke authority 2) to defy; deny, reject; undermine authority 3) absolute, complete, full, supreme, unquestioned; parental authority 4) authority for; over… …   Combinatory dictionary

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