Definition of author in US English:


(also auth.)


  • 1A writer of a book, article, or report.

    ‘he is the author of several books on the subject’
    • ‘Somehow I doubt that the authors of this idiotic article have thought this through very well.’
    • ‘Table 7 shows the most-cited authors of journal articles.’
    • ‘When the authors of this article were teenagers, the population of the world was about 3 billion people.’
    • ‘She is the author of numerous research articles in scholarly journals and has co-authored a book chapter.’
    • ‘It happens that I am a childhood friend of one of the authors of this book.’
    • ‘The authors of the article don't even bother to address the constitutional question at the heart of the case.’
    • ‘The reviewers, like the authors of our articles, have definite points of view.’
    • ‘He is a journalist, computer columnist, and the author of 11 books.’
    • ‘He is the author of numerous articles and published papers.’
    • ‘A prolific writer, Horowitz is the author or co-author of over 30 books and thousands of articles and essays.’
    • ‘She is a poet, playwright and the author of nine books.’
    • ‘He is also a prolific writer, being the author of a dozen books on subjects such as Islamic theology, ethics, Sufism and comparative religions.’
    • ‘I am pretty confident that the authors of both these articles are better informed on their areas of expertise than I am.’
    • ‘Here's a good article by the authors of the new book.’
    • ‘He doesn't look like the author of controversial books and articles, or like someone who has been harassed by the government and police.’
    • ‘I was at the same exact event as the author of this article and I can ascertain that her report of that day is accurate.’
    • ‘The author of this article was reviewing a recently released book.’
    • ‘Father Yvon was also a noted writer, the author of several books about the sea.’
    • ‘He is the author of seven books and more than a hundred articles and chapters.’
    • ‘Let me start out by saying that the author of that article was my aunt, and I don't believe she would ever intentionally misrepresent me.’
    writer, man of letters, woman of letters, wordsmith
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    1. 1.1 Someone who writes books as a profession.
      ‘my favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Aldous Huxley’
      • ‘In 1965 I was writing a weekly pseudonymous column on books and authors for Scotland's national newspaper.’
      • ‘Years ago, science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote an anthology of books entitled I, Robot.’
      • ‘These authors wrote many intimate short stories of superb quality.’
      • ‘Some 39 poets, essayists, authors and playwrights will participate in it.’
      • ‘Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood writes of the influence George Orwell had on her and her writing, to mark the centenary of his birth.’
      • ‘Anyway, The Author is filled with lots of immensely practical articles by working authors, agents, commissioning editors and so on.’
      • ‘Why do you think so many authors have trouble writing sex scenes?’
      • ‘Some prolific authors write the same book over and over, and others write books so different that their work fails to add up to a single whole.’
      • ‘Many books by Australian authors are remembered and their merits fully recognised.’
      • ‘In the mid-1990s, she was one of two authors to contribute thoughtful articles on this topic to Chamber Music America.’
      • ‘Book authors write longer paragraphs without having to give the reader a rest.’
      • ‘Unlike many short story authors, Oates writes interestingly about a vast range of subjects, and has the skill with which to make her tales truly mesmerising.’
      • ‘But we're also developing books by other authors, emerging writers for children.’
      • ‘Many authors now write books with movies in mind.’
      • ‘I remember telling my class that my favorite authors were Toni Morrison and Stephen King.’
      • ‘Although Stoker managed to write a number of novels, he was not primarily an author by profession.’
      • ‘Each of these countries naturally gives prominence to authors writing in its respective language.’
      • ‘Then we have authors writing positive reviews for their own books and often their friends will do the same.’
      • ‘Another reason for his attraction to Deirdre is that they both share a passion for books, especially those written by neglected authors.’
      • ‘But Verne was a prolific author, and he wrote over 50 novels between 1863 and his death in 1905.’
    2. 1.2 The writings of a professional author.
      ‘I had to read authors I disliked’
      • ‘While these contemporary writers may not have read many of the authors in Harlem's Glory, many of their themes turn out to be echoes of this earlier writing.’
      • ‘Where earlier historians had read ancient authors with deference and credulity, he approached their works with presumptuous skepticism.’
      • ‘And did she read those two authors because of personal ties?’
      • ‘Many of the authors we will read describe their writing as an activist project.’
    3. 1.3 An originator or creator of something, especially a plan or idea.
      ‘the authors of the peace plan’
      • ‘The authors of the plan also point to the increasing role the private sector could offer by providing a wide range of facilities on behalf of the councils.’
      • ‘It is possible that the authors of this idea really believe that his personality guarantees success.’
      • ‘Very few of the plan's original authors are still there.’
      • ‘The plan's authors reside in Key West.’
      • ‘The authors of the original property rights theory never regarded the system of property rights as something easily changeable by policy decisions.’
      • ‘The plan's authors believe there is significant tourism potential for water sports to be further developed and states that the surf school should be expanded to a year round activity.’
      • ‘In a legal system that's built on analogy and precedent, principles often expand past the boundaries that even their authors originally urged.’
      • ‘Nine years on, let's look at what the authors of the plan had in mind for Sligo after the road is built, particularly in terms of traffic flow and pedestrianisation.’
      • ‘Let the plan's authors insist that the government clarify threshold issues before the laws are implemented.’
      • ‘It seems self evidently the case that the authors of the plan did not consider any other possibility except the implementation of the Land Securities scheme.’
      originator, creator, initiator, instigator, founder, father, prime mover, architect, engineer, designer, deviser, planner, inventor, maker, producer
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[with object]
  • 1Be the author of (a book or piece of writing)

    ‘she has authored several articles on wildlife’
    • ‘He authored a terrific book about his son some years back.’
    • ‘He has authored books in Tamil and distributes them at the medical camps.’
    • ‘Apart from holding his hugely popular shows across the globe, he is also busy authoring a book.’
    • ‘While this is a jointly authored book, the switch from one section to the other is seamless.’
    • ‘She authored many best-selling books, including Forever Young, Forever Healthy.’
    • ‘He has authored four books and published more than 500 articles on armor in various military journals.’
    • ‘She has authored seven books and over one hundred articles.’
    • ‘I am now pretty convinced that these books were authored by two different people who just happen to have the same name.’
    • ‘He has authored eight books, including a travelogue.’
    • ‘He has authored a book entitled African American Music - An Introduction.’
    • ‘Not all politicians can find the time to author a book, not even something that is classed as lighter stuff.’
    • ‘She has held four photography exhibitions so far and authored a book of poems with her own illustrations.’
    • ‘She even subsequently authored a book on Indian classical dances.’
    • ‘There is no cause for worry, the scientist who has authored a book ‘From fission to fusion’, explains.’
    1. 1.1 Be the originator of; create.
      ‘the concept has been authored largely by insurance companies’
      • ‘This goodly frame, the earth, was such a configuration, authored by God, and with wondrous messages for those who cared to examine the text.’
      • ‘The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority is currently authoring guidelines to regulate insurance advertising.’
      • ‘The idea of composing a life, authoring one's own actions, acting as an agent, makes little sense in this view.’
      • ‘Wilson seized on writing in an effort to author an alternative relationship to domesticity for herself.’
      • ‘The Palestinian tragedy was authored here in the building in which I write.’
      write, create, devise, make up, think up, frame, formulate, fashion, produce, originate, invent, contrive, concoct
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In the sense ‘be the author of,’ the verb author is objected to by some traditionalists, who regard it as an awkward or pretentious substitute for write or compose. It is widespread and well established, though, especially in North America, and has been in use since the end of the 16th century


Middle English (in the sense ‘a person who invents or causes something’): from Old French autor, from Latin auctor, from augere ‘increase, originate, promote’. The spelling with th arose in the 15th century, and perhaps became established under the influence of authentic.