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 that is officially or formally granted (as by statute, corporate bylaw, or court order)
within the scope of the treasurer's authority
police officers executing a warrant...are not required to “knock and announce” their authority and purposes before enteringNational Law Journal
c: power and capacity to act granted by someone in a position of control; specif: the power to act granted by a principal to his or her agent
actual authority: the authority that a principal in reality has granted to an agent
actual express authority: the actual authority of an agent specifically stated or written by the principal
actual implied authority: the actual authority of an agent that the principal has not specified but has purposely or through negligence allowed the agent to believe has been granted
apparent authority: the authority that a principal purposely or through negligence allows a third party to believe that the principal's agent has although such authority has not in reality been granted – called also authority by estoppel, ostensible authority;
◇ A principal is bound by the acts of an agent acting with apparent authority.
express authority: authority that is explicitly granted to an agent by a principal – called also expressed authority, stipulated authority;
implied authority: the authority to perform acts that are customary, necessary, and understood by an agent as authorized in performing acts for which the principal has given express authority
ostensible authority: apparent authority in this entry
stipulated authority: express authority in this entry
3: a person in a position of power and esp. a public office
— usu. used in pl.
the local authorities
4 a: a government agency or corporation that administers a revenue-producing public enterprise
the transit authority
b: a government agency or public office responsible for an area of regulation
should apply for a permit to the permitting authority

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (documentation) noun authoritative example, authoritative rule for future similar cases, court rule, decision, judgment, judicial decision establishing a rule, judicial precedent, legislative precedent, order, precedent, precept, prior instance, ratio decidendi, ruling, sanction, statute associated concepts: established authority II (power) noun auctoritas, authoritativeness, control, dominance, domination, force, governance, importance, influence, position of influence, position of power, powers that be, seniority, source, supremacy, sway associated concepts: abuse of authority, acting under authority, actual authority, agency, apparent authority, authority by estoppel, authority coupled with an interest, authority of law, authority of the court, colorable authority, constituted authority, de facto authority, delegation of authority, express authority, general authority, implied authority, incidental authority, indicia of authority, lawful authority, legislative authority, limited authority, local authority, municipal authority, naked authority, parental authority, power of attorney, proxy, public authority, real authority, scope of authority, special authority, under cover of authority, unlimited authority, want of authority, written authority foreign phrases:
- Argumentum ab auctoritate est fortissimum in lege. — An argument drawn from authority is the strongest in the law.
- Majus dignum trahit ad se minus dignum. — The greater authority appropriates to itself the lesser authority.
- Nihil tam proprium imperio quam legibus vivere. — Nothing is so becoming to authority as to live in conformity with the laws.
- Non debet cui plus licet, quod minus est non licere. — He who is given a greater authority ought not to be forbidden that which is less.
- Ubi non est condendi auctoritas, ibi non est parendi necessitas. — Where there is no authority for establishing a rule, there is no need for obeying it.
- Firmior et potentior est operatio legis quam dispositio hominis. — The operation of the law is more firm and more powerful than the will of man.
- Fortior et potentior est dispositio legis quam hominis. — The disposition of the law has greater force and stronger effect than that of man.
- Judici officium suum excedenti non paretur. — No obedience is to be given to a judge exceeding his office or jurisdiction
- Legitime imperanti parere necesse est. — One who commands lawfully must be obeyed.
- In maxima potentia minima licentia. — In the greatest liberty there is the least freedom
- Semper praesumitur pro legitimatione puerorum. — The presumption always is in favor of the legitimacy of children
III (right) noun jurisdiction, legal power, legitimacy, prerogative, right to adjudicate, right to command, right to determine, right to settle issues, rightful power foreign phrases:
- Omnis ratihabitio retrotrahitur et mandato priori aequiparatur. — Every ratification relates back and is taken to be the equal of prior authority
- Nullius hominis auctoritas apud nos valere debet, ut meliora non sequeremur si quis attulerit. — No man's influence ought to prevail upon us, that we should not follow better opinions should anyone present them
- Nemo potest facere per obliquum quod non potest facere per directum. — No man can do indirectly that which he cannot do directly
- In rebus manifestis, errat qui auctoritates legum allegat; quia perspicua vera non sunt probanda. — In clear cases, he errs who cites legal authorities because obvious truths are manifest and do not have to be proved.
IV index advantage, agency (commission), agency (legal relationship), auspices, bailiwick, basis, bureau, certification (certification of proficiency), charter (license), charter (sanction), clout, concession (authorization), consent, control (supervision), copyright, derivation, determinant, dint, documentation, dominance, dominion (supreme authority), droit, eminence, expert, force (compulsion), generalship, government (political administration), hegemony, influence, judicature, jurisdiction, license, management (directorate), management (supervision), mastermind, occupation (possession), patronage (power to appoint jobs), permission, permit, possession (ownership), power, precedence, precedent, predominance, prerogative, prescription (claim of title), prescription (directive), prestige, primacy, privilege, professional, realm, reference (citation), regime, right (entitlement), source, specialist, supremacy, title (right), validity, warrant (authorization), weight (importance)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A company's activities are carried out by individuals who have authority to commit the company to a greater or lesser degree. Central authority resides with the directors and they can delegate their authority to others within the Company subject to whatever limitations they choose. The principles are akin to agency and individual officers may bind the company if they are acting within their ostensible or implied authority, even if they are exceeding internal limitation.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

(1) Power; the right to tell others how to act or to make others obey; rights or powers delegated by one person or body to another.
(2) An expert.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

1) A power to act or to order others to act. Often one person or entity gives another the authority to act, as an employer to an employee, a principal to an agent, a corporation to its officers, or a government to an agency.
2) A court decision used to make a point or support an argument.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Employment Law & HR
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Living Wills & Medical Powers of Attorney
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Financial Powers of Attorney

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 The authorization, permission, power, or right to act on another's behalf and to bind them by such actions.
See also agency, agent, principal.
2 The right or power to command, govern, or enforce obedience.
3 A legal writing, such as a judicial decision, law review article or legal treatise, or a statute's legislative history that provides information or insight on how to interpret and apply the law.
See also precedent.
@ actual authority
Authority, express or implied, intentionally given by a principal to an agent.
=>> authority.
@ adverse authority
Authority that is detrimental to a party's argument or position regarding a question or an issue. Usually, when a lawyer finds such authority, he is under an ethical obligation to reveal it to the court, but it is done in such a way (for example, arguing that the decision in a previous case should be narrowly construed or was wrongly decided) as to minimize the authority's effect upon his client's case.
=>> authority.
@ apparent authority
Authority that can be reasonably inferred by a third party to have been given to an agent based upon the third party's dealings with the principal or upon the principal's representations even if the principal did not intend to give the agent such authority.
=>> authority.
@ binding authority
@ persuasive authority
Authority that is not binding on a court but still merits consideration. For example, a scholarly work or the decision of a higher court in another jurisdiction.
@ primary authority
Authority that is issued by law-making bodies, such as a court's decision or a statute's legislative history.
@ secondary authority
Authority that analyzes and explains the law, but is not issued by a court or legislature. For example, an annotation, law review article, or legal treatise.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

   permission, a right coupled with the power to do an act or order others to act. Often one person gives another authority to act, as an employer to an employee, a principal to an agent, a corporation to its officers, or governmental empowerment to perform certain functions. There are different types of authority, including "apparent authority" when a principal gives an agent various signs of authority to make others believe he or she has authority; "express authority" or "limited authority," which spells out exactly what authority is granted (usually a written set of instructions) "implied authority," which flows from the position one holds and "general authority," which is the broad power to act for another.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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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