author

Definitions

Computing

  • noun the person who wrote a program

Information & Library Science

Law

  • noun the creator and owner of a piece of copyrighted work

Media Studies

  • verb to create a computer application such as a multimedia document, usually using special software

Origin & History of “author”

Latin auctor originally meant ‘creator, originator’; it came from auct-, the past participial stem of augēre, which as well as ‘increase’ (as in English augment) meant ‘originate’. But it also developed the specific sense ‘creator of a text, writer’, and brought both these meanings with it into English via Old French autor. Forms with -th- began to appear in the mid 16th century (from French), and originally the-th- was just a spelling variant of -t-, but eventually it affected the pronunciation.

While the ‘writing’ sense has largely taken over author, authority (13th c.) (ultimately from Latin auctōritās) and its derivatives authoritative and authorize have developed along the lines of the creator’s power to command or make decisions.
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