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[aw-therz] /ˈɔ θərz/
noun, (used with a singular verb)
a card game for two or more persons that is played with a 52-card pack, the object being to take the largest number of tricks consisting of four cards of the same denomination.
Origin of authors
1865-70, Americanism; plural of author


[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.
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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Examples from the Web for authors
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us, however, the children of a new era, learn from it the greatness of its authors!

    The New York Obelisk Charles E. Moldenke
  • It is not the purpose of the authors to discuss the subject pro or con.

    Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
  • The people had heard of his fame as an editor of half-forgotten Roman authors.

    The Story of Mankind Hendrik Van Loon
  • Do not let us spoil a great opportunity because of our sensitiveness as authors.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • Presumably the authors would have to acquiesce in such bowdlerizing.

British Dictionary definitions for authors


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 authors



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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