An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority (either his own or that of his superior and/or employer, public or legally private).
A government official or functionary is an official who is involved in public administration or government, through either election, appointment, selection, or employment. A bureaucrat is a member of the bureaucracy. An elected official is a person who is an official by virtue of an election. Officials may also be appointed ex officio (by virtue of another office, often in a specified capacity, such as presiding, advisory, secretary). Some official positions may be inherited.
A person who currently holds an office is referred to as an incumbent.
The word official as a noun has been recorded since the Middle English period, first seen in 1314. It comes from the Old French official (12th century), from the Latin officialis ("attendant to a magistrate, public official"), the noun use of the original adjective officialis ("of or belonging to duty, service, or office") from officium ("office"). The meaning "person in charge of some public work or duty" was first recorded in 1555. The adjective is first attested in English in 1533, via the Old French oficial.
The informal term officialese, the jargon of "officialdom", was first recorded in 1884.
Other articles related to "official":
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... The official winners were Aileen Ritter and Truett Scarborough ... On September 22, 1984, the Demon received his official given name by means of another contest sponsored by the Athletic Department ... Ray Carney, an alumnus of the university, was the official winner with "Vic," which is short for "Victory" ...
... The VR official was one of three postage stamps introduced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in May 1840 for the pre-payment of postage ... public, as were the Mulready envelopes and letter sheets, the VR official was for use on official mail ... In appearance the VR Official was the same as the issued Penny Black except that the stars in the top corners were removed and replaced by the letters V and R, hence its common name ...
... for doubt is the fact that the Navy kept the full transcript of its official hearing and final report secret ... controversy, his (the associate's) official limousine was followed to and from his office by a blue sedan containing two men ... occupant entering or leaving an Arab embassy in order to demonstrate that the official involved was in close contact with Arab representatives." Columnists Drew ...
... that PSV Eindhoven currently has sponsorship deals with include Philips – Main Sponsor Nike – Official Partner Mercedes-Benz – Official Partner Bavaria ...
Famous quotes containing the word official:
“... it is a rather curious thing to have to divide ones life into personal and official compartments and temporarily put the personal side into its hidden compartment to be taken out again when ones official duties are at an end.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt (18841962)
“I know one husband and wife who, whatever the official reasons given to the court for the break up of their marriage, were really divorced because the husband believed that nobody ought to read while he was talking and the wife that nobody ought to talk while she was reading.”
—Vera Brittain (18931970)
“There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.”
—John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)