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Webster's Dictionary 1828 - Online Edition

Webster's Dictionary 1828

Americal Dictionary of the English Language

American Dictionary
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Authority

AUTHOR'ITY, noun [Latin auctoritas.]

1. Legal power, or a right to command or to act; as the authority of a prince over subjects, and of parents over children. Power; rule; sway.

2. The power derived from opinion, respect or esteem; influence of character or office; credit; as the authority of age or example, which is submitted to or respected, in some measure, as a law, or rule of action. That which is claimed in justification or support of opinions and measures.

3. Testimony; witness; or the person who testifies; as, the Gospels or the evangelists are our authorities for the miracles of Christ.

4. Weight of testimony; credibility; as a historian of no authority

5. Weight of character; respectability; dignity; as a magistrate of great authority in the city.

6. Warrant; order; permission.

By what authority dost thou these things. Matthew 21:23. Acts 9:14.

7. Precedents, decisions of a court, official declarations, respectable opinions and says, also the books that contain them, are call authorities, as they influence the opinions of others; and in law, the decisions of supreme courts have a binding force upon inferior courts, and are called authorities.

8. Government; the persons or the body exercising power or command; as the local authorities of the states.

In Connecticut, the justices of the peace are denominated the civil authority