From ArticleWorld

The Official is an individual that holds an office in any type of organization and holds authority (either his or of his employer). The term “elected official” describes somebody that became an official because of an election. Officials can also be appointed, cooptated or in some circumstances the position can be hereditary. Antic Rome portrayed an official as being a high dignitary, for instance a governor. The public official is a person that is an official of local or centre government.


If used in ecclesiastical settings, official becomes a legal title given to a diocesan bishop’s judicial vicar. He shared the bishop’s judicial power over the diocese and presided over the diocese ecclesiastical court. A common usage of the word can also be found in sports. An official is a person that watches that rules are respected and this is done by being a referee, linesman or umpire. Several people consider other terms (officer, functionary) to be synonyms of official. They are close in meaning if used in the proper setting but are not synonyms.


If the word “official” is used as an adjective it gains other meanings:

  • official holiday – a public holiday that has recognition in the whole country or in one region
  • official language – a language that is recognized by the government for being used in public administrations or by the people
  • official spokesman – a person that has the power to speak on behalf of another individual, usually a celebrity or public figure
  • official strike – a strike that is organized and recognized by the labor union
  • official history – history written as a commission
  • official statement – a statement issued by a company, organization or individual in which an opinion on a subject is expressed.