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[aw-thuh-rahyz] /ˈɔ θəˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), authorized, authorizing.
to give authority or official power to; empower:
to authorize an employee to sign purchase orders.
to give authority for; formally sanction (an act or proceeding):
Congress authorized the new tax on tobacco.
to establish by authority or usage:
an arrangement long authorized by etiquette books.
to afford a ground for; warrant; justify.
Also, especially British, authorise.
Origin of authorize
1350-1400; earlier auctorize < Medieval Latin auctōrizāre; replacing Middle English autorisen < Middle French autoriser < Medieval Latin See author, -ize
Related forms
authorizable, adjective
authorizer, noun
deauthorize, verb (used with object), deauthorized, deauthorizing.
misauthorize, verb (used with object), misauthorized, misauthorizing.
preauthorize, verb (used with object), preauthorized, preauthorizing.
reauthorize, verb (used with object), reauthorized, reauthorizing.
self-authorizing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for authorise
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To authorise the Prince to accept the government of another State.

    Bulgaria Frank Fox
  • Do you authorise me to speak—a little—as if I have an interest?

    The Outcry Henry James
  • He represented to the Earl of Kilmarnock, that the rules of war did not authorise the outrage which was contemplated.

  • It was at the time when the Chamber was asked to authorise the issue of lottery stock.

  • Parliament alone could authorise the representation of this production.

    Handel Romain Rolland
  • And remember also that I do not authorise you in any way to resume this conversation.

    The Man Bram Stoker
  • Then will you authorise me to give the necessary orders so your carriage and servants will be ready at that hour?

    Pride Eugne Sue
  • I will gladly do so,” said Dr. Martin, “if Mr. and Mrs. Fairfield authorise it.

    Patty's Summer Days Carolyn Wells
  • We know really nothing about primitive man, there is not sufficient evidence to authorise conjectures.

British Dictionary definitions for authorise


verb (transitive)
to confer authority upon (someone to do something); empower
to permit (someone to do or be something) with official sanction: a dealer authorized by a manufacturer to retail his products
Derived Forms
authorization, authorisation, noun
authorizer, authoriser, noun
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 authorise

chiefly British English spelling of authorize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Authorised; authorising.



"give formal approval to," late 14c., autorisen, from Old French autoriser "authorize, give authority to" (12c.), from Medieval Latin auctorizare, from auctor (see author (n.)). Modern spelling from 16c. Related: Authorized; authorizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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