Why was clemency trending last week?


[uh-fish-uh l] /əˈfɪʃ əl/
a person appointed or elected to an office or charged with certain duties.
of or relating to an office or position of duty, trust, or authority:
official powers.
authorized or issued authoritatively:
an official report.
holding office.
appointed or authorized to act in a designated capacity:
an official representative.
(of an activity or event) intended for the notice of the public and performed or held on behalf of officials or of an organization; formal:
the official opening of a store.
Pharmacology. noting drugs or drug preparations that are recognized by and that conform to the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary.
Origin of official
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin officiālis of duty, equivalent to Latin offici(um) office + -ālis -al1
Related forms
officially, adverb
nonofficial, adjective
nonofficially, adverb
preofficial, adjective
preofficially, adverb
pseudoofficial, adjective, noun
pseudoofficially, adverb
quasi-official, adjective
quasi-officially, adverb
subofficial, noun, adjective
subofficially, adverb
underofficial, adjective
unofficial, adjective
unofficially, adverb
Can be confused
official, officious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for official
  • Even so, it can take a full week to produce the vetted and official offer letter for signing.
  • official newspapers were probably glad not to have to second-guess censors' concerns about that kind of imagery.
  • Astronomers might think they have it tough waiting for the ultimate validation of discoveries: an official name.
  • Imagine you are a government official with confidential messages to send.
  • The official flatware, ashtrays and such will probably appeal to antiques dealers.
  • The journey to gain official status can be a long trip.
  • Neither thinks that official debt figures mean all that much.
  • The railway's official hotel, walking distance to downtown.
  • No pricing details have been offered for the game, nor an official release date.
  • First, she was speaking personally and was not outlining any official position.
British Dictionary definitions for official


of or relating to an office, its administration, or its duration
sanctioned by, recognized by, or derived from authority: an official statement
appointed by authority, esp for some special duty
having a formal ceremonial character: an official dinner
a person who holds a position in an organization, government department, etc, esp a subordinate position


of or relating to one of the two factions of the IRA and Sinn Féin, created by a split in 1969. The Official movement subsequently renounced terrorism and entered constitutional politics in the Irish Republic as the Workers' Party (now the Democratic Left)
a member of the Official IRA and Sinn Féin
Compare Provisional
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for official

early 14c., from Old French oficial "law officer; bishop's representative" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin officialis "attendant to a magistrate, public official," noun use of officialis (adj.) "of or belonging to duty, service, or office" (see official (adj.)). Meaning "person in charge of some public work or duty" first recorded 1550s.


late 14c., "performing a service; required by duty," from Old French oficial "official; main, principal" (14c., Modern French officiel) or directly from Late Latin officialis "of or belonging to duty, service, or office," from Latin officium (see office). Meaning "pertaining to an office or official position" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
official in Medicine

official of·fi·cial (ə-fĭsh'əl)
Authorized by or contained in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary. Used of drugs.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for official

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for official

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with official