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Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English auctour, from Anglo-Norman autour, from Old French autor, from Latin auctor, from augeō (to increase, originate). The h, also found in English autheur, is unetymological as there is no h in the original Latin spelling. The OED attributes the h to contamination by authentic.



author (plural authors)

  1. The originator or creator of a work, especially of a literary composition.
    The copyright of any original writing belongs initially and properly to its author.
    Have you read any Corinthian authors?
  2. Someone who writes books for a living.
  3. (obsolete, criminal law) Principal.
    • 1894, Franco-Siamese Mixed Court, The Case of Kieng Chek (Kham Muon) before the Franco-Siamese Mixed Court[1], Bangkok: n.p., page 4:
      Accomplices of a crime or an offence shall incur the same punishment as the authors of such a crime or offence, except when the law will have disposed otherwise.
  4. (obsolete) One's authority for something: an informant.
    • 1699, Seven new Colloquies translated out of Erasmus
      Let me inform you en passant, Ladies, that those Villains the Heathens, as my Authors tell me, (and I thought it wou'd[sic] not be amiss to communicate such a nice Observation to this House) used to call our Saviour Chrestus, and not Christus, by way of Contempt and Derision []


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


author (third-person singular simple present authors, present participle authoring, simple past and past participle authored)

  1. (chiefly US, sometimes proscribed) To create a work as its author.

Derived termsEdit






author m (genitive authōris); third declension

  1. (proscribed) Alternative form of auctor


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative author authōrēs
Genitive authōris authōrum
Dative authōrī authōribus
Accusative authōrem authōrēs
Ablative authōre authōribus
Vocative author authōrēs


  • author in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
    auctor in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • auctor in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette, page 184f.

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of auctour