authority
A person, institution, or organization is said to have authority when the power it exercises is supposed legitimate, that is, authorized by some system of norms to which the speaker assents. The emergence of such norms in human society is a complex matter, with convention, habit, custom, and tradition playing different roles. Social contract theory is one kind of solution to the problem of the basis of authority; the evident utility of some rule-governed systems is another. While it is common to find scepticism about particular claims to authority, the idea that human coordination (and hence even communication) could exist without it is usually regarded as fanciful.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • 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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