authority-n; 7 Senses

Sense Number 1: power to give orders, official state of power

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+state][+social][+official][+right][+power] the power or right to give orders or make decisions

The governor has the authority to stay an execution.
Deputies are given authority to make arrests.
This currency is backed by the full authority of the U.S. government.
Teachers have much less authority over their students than in previous decades.
Question authority!

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: assurance, confidence

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+quality][+confidence][+extreme] freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities

He spoke with authority on the subject of Renaissance art.
Her conviction in the role of Desdemona lent authority to the performance last night.
Mary conducted the meeting with an air of authority.
Without hearing authority in your voice, the dog will ignore your commands.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 4

Sense Number 3: officials who have specific powers

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+entity][+social][+group][+people][+official][+power][+specified] persons who exercise officially-sanctioned control over others
NOTE: almost always occurs in the plural
NOTE: refers to the people, not the agency (see Sense 5)

Mary said the authorities were looking for a tall man wearing a gray beret.
The authorities enforced a curfew during the state of emergency.
They were wanted for questioning by the authorities.
Health authorities have closed down four restaurants since the outbreak of the bacteria.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 4: most knowledgable source, expert

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+relation][+role][+expert][+resource][+person/+document] an expert (or written work) whose views are taken as definitive

He is an authority on corporate law.
This book is the final authority on the life of Milton.
She is a world authority on the ice giants of the outer solar system.
I have it on good authority that John loves dark chocolate cake. (expert opinion)

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 5: a government agency with specific power

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+entity][+social][+group][+organization][+agency][+government][+administration]
NOTE: most often occurs as part of the proper name of an agency
NOTE: refers to the agency, not the people (see Sense 3) administrative government agency

The transportation authorities of cities are in charge of public buses and subways.
Our town is setting up a new authority to manage the parkland and conservation areas.
He worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority during the Depression.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 5

Sense Number 6: official permission to do something

Commentary: AUTHORITY[+state][+social][+official][+permission] official permission or approval

By whose authority are these signs being put up? (who gave permission)
The money was spent without congressional authority.
We are waiting for authority to go ashore yet by the local customs officers.
She gave her employees the authority to make decisions on their own and try out new ideas.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 6

Sense Number 7: none of the above

Commentary: Automatically generated NOTA sense (bbn)