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 authority may be completely independent of or partially dependent upon other governments for its financing or the exercise of certain powers. American Banker Glossary

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authority au‧thor‧i‧ty [ɔːˈθɒrti, ə- ǁ əˈθɑː-, əˈθɔː-] noun authorities PLURALFORM
1. [countable] LAW ORGANIZATIONS an official organization which controls a particular activity and checks that the rules and laws relating to it are being obeyed:

• Illinois' metropolitan rail authority

ˈhealth auˌthority [countable] ORGANIZATIONS
a government organization in Britain that is responsible for providing health services in a particular area:

• the Bolton Area Health Authority

ˌlocal auˈthority [countable]
a government organization in Britain that is responsible for providing public services such as schools, the collection of rubbish etc in a particular area:

• Local authorities have been told that they must cut their spending.

ˈport auˌthority [countable] ORGANIZATIONS TRANSPORT
an independent public organization that controls a port:

• the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

2. the authorities [plural] the organizations that are in charge of a particular country or area or a particular activity:

• The weak currency could force the authorities to raise interest rates.

3. [uncountable] the power that a person or organization has because of their official or legal position:
port authority the authority to do something

• I wouldn't have taken the job unless I had the authority to run the division.

• The bankruptcy court lacked the authority to rule on this subject.

4. authority to negotiate/​purchase BANKING the power given by an importer to a bank in the exporter's country to allow the exporter to arrange a bill of exchange
5. authority to pay BANKING the power given by an importer to a bank in the exporter's country to pay a bill of exchange

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authority UK US /ɔːˈθɒrəti/ noun
[U] the official power to make decisions for other people or to tell them what they must do: »

The Executive Committee can delegate authority to the Chairperson.


He did not have enough authority within the company to make the decision.

the authority to do sth »

The federal government has the authority to regulate phone service provided over the internet.

authority over sb »

The accrediting board is the legal body with authority over the institution.

[U] official permission or the legal right to do something: grant/give sb authority to do sth »

Under the new plan, counties would be given the authority to raise sales tax levels.

the authority to do sth »

The company had the owner's authority to contract on his behalf.

[usually plural] GOVERNMENT an official organization, often created by the government, which is responsible for managing a particular duty or service: the authorities »

All staff who work at the school must be registered and checked by the authorities.

the housing/transit/tax authority »

The city's housing authority provides assisted housing for more than 130,000 residents.

[U] the ability to influence other people and make them respect you, especially because you are confident or have a lot of knowledge: »

When answering questions at a job interview, be sure to speak clearly and with authority.


As a manager he lacks authority.

[C] someone who is an expert on a particular subject, and whose opinions influence other people: an authority on sth »

Today's speaker is one of the nation's leading authorities on fund-raising for non-profit groups.

See also CERTIFICATE AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑certificate authority), CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑classification authority), THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑the Financial Services Authority), HEALTH AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑health authority), LINE AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑line authority), LOCAL AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑local authority), PORT AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑port authority), THE SECURITIES AND FUTURES AUTHORITY(Cf. ↑the Securities and Futures Authority)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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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 — 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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