1. Conforming to fact and therefore worthy of trust, reliance, or belief: an authentic account by an eyewitness.
2. Being so in fact; not fraudulent or counterfeit: an authentic medieval sword.
3. Law Executed in a manner so as to produce legal effectiveness: an authentic deed.
a. Of, relating to, or being a medieval mode having a range from its final tone to the octave above it.
b. Of, relating to, or being a cadence with the dominant chord immediately preceding the tonic chord.
5. Obsolete Authoritative.
[Middle English autentik, from Old French autentique, from Late Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos, from authentēs, author, master : autos, self + -hentēs, accomplisher, achiever; akin to Attic Greek hanutein, to accomplish, variant of Greek anuein.]
Synonyms: authentic, bona fide, genuine, real1, true, unquestionable
These adjectives mean not counterfeit or copied: an authentic painting by Monet; a bona fide transfer of property; genuine crabmeat; a real diamond; true courage; an unquestionable antique.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.