Pronunciation: (u-thôr'i-tē, u-thor'-), [key]
1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.
2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization: Who has the authority to grant permission?
3. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.
4. Usually, authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law; government: They finally persuaded the authorities that they were not involved in espionage.
5. an accepted source of information, advice, etc.
6. a quotation or citation from such a source.
7. an expert on a subject: He is an authority on baseball.
8. persuasive force; conviction: She spoke with authority.
9. a statute, court rule, or judicial decision that establishes a rule or principle of law; a ruling.
10. right to respect or acceptance of one's word, command, thought, etc.; commanding influence: the authority of a parent; the authority of a great writer.
11. mastery in execution or performance, as of a work of art or literature or a piece of music.
12. a warrant for action; justification.
13. testimony; witness.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.