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[aw-ther] /ˈɔ θər/
a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist.
the literary production or productions of a writer:
to find a passage in an author.
the maker of anything; creator; originator:
the author of a new tax plan.
Computers. the writer of a software program, especially a hypertext or multimedia application.
verb (used with object)
to write; be the author of:
He authored a history of the Civil War.
to originate; create a design for:
She authored a new system for teaching chemistry.
Origin of author
1250-1300; earlier auct(h)or < Latin auctor writer, progenitor, equivalent to aug(ēre) to increase, augment + -tor -tor; replacing Middle English auto(u)r < Anglo-French, for Old French autor < Latin, as above
Related forms
[aw-thawr-ee-uh l, aw-thohr-] /ɔˈθɔr i əl, ɔˈθoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
authorless, adjective
multiauthored, adjective
proauthor, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for author


a person who composes a book, article, or other written work related adjective auctorial
a person who writes books as a profession; writer
the writings of such a person: reviewing a postwar author
an originator or creator: the author of this plan
verb (transitive)
to write or originate
Derived Forms
authorial (ɔːˈθɔːrɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French autor, from Latin auctor author, from augēre to increase
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for author

c.1300, autor "father," from Old French auctor, acteor "author, originator, creator, instigator (12c., Modern French auteur), from Latin auctorem (nominative auctor) "enlarger, founder, master, leader," literally "one who causes to grow," agent noun from auctus, past participle of augere "to increase" (see augment). Meaning "one who sets forth written statements" is from late 14c. The -t- changed to -th- 16c. on mistaken assumption of Greek origin.

...[W]riting means revealing onesself to excess .... This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why even night is not night enough. ... I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar's outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up! [Franz Kafka]


1590s, from author (n.). Revived 1940s, chiefly U.S. Related: Authored; authoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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