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Au*thor"i*ty (&unr_;), n.; pl. Authorities (&unr_;). [OE. autorite, auctorite, F. autorité, 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 trust; dominion; jurisdiction; authorization; as, the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children; the authority of a court.
Thus can the demigod, Authority, Shak.
Make us pay down for our offense.
By what authority doest thou these things ? Matt. xxi. 23.
2. Government; the persons or the body exercising power or command; as, the local authorities of the States; the military authorities. [Chiefly in the plural.]
3. The power derived from opinion, respect, or esteem; influence of character, office, or station, or mental or moral superiority, and the like; claim to be believed or obeyed; as, an historian of no authority; a magistrate of great authority.
4. That which, or one who, is claimed or appealed to in support of opinions, actions, measures, etc. Hence: (a) Testimony; witness. “And on that high authority had believed.” Milton. (b) A precedent; a decision of a court, an official declaration, or an opinion, saying, or statement worthy to be taken as a precedent. (c) A book containing such a statement or opinion, or the author of the book. (d) Justification; warrant.
Wilt thou be glass wherein it shall discern Shak.
Authority for sin, warrant for blame.