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Authorized vs. Permitted: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 4, 2024
Authorized implies official permission or empowerment by an authority, while permitted suggests allowed, often in a more general sense.

Key Differences

Authorization often comes from a specific authority or official body, suggesting a formal empowerment. Permission can be more general, coming from anyone in a position to allow an action.
Authorization typically carries a more formal connotation, often linked to official or legal power. Permission is broader and can be informal, like social or personal consent.
Being authorized often implies a certain level of power or responsibility granted to perform specific tasks. Being permitted usually means simply having the allowance to do something without necessarily implying additional power or responsibility.
Authorization is commonly used in professional, legal, or official contexts. Permission can be applicable in a wider range of contexts, from personal to official.
Authorization, being formal, often comes with specific terms and conditions and can be formally revoked. Permission, while it can also be withdrawn, is often less tied to strict conditions.

Comparison Chart

Source of Approval

Specific authority or official body
Any position of authority, official or informal

Formality and Scope

More formal, often legal or official
Broader, can be informal

Implications of Power

Implies power or responsibility
Simply allows an action, no extra power

Context of Use

Professional, legal, official
Wide range, including personal


Formal revocation with terms and conditions
Can be withdrawn, often less formal

Authorized and Permitted Definitions


Legally empowered or certified.
The agent was authorized to act on behalf of the clients.


Allowed or given consent to.
Photography was permitted in the art gallery.


Officially empowered or sanctioned.
She was authorized to sign the contract on behalf of the company.


Given the go-ahead or green light.
The construction was permitted after the safety inspection.


Having official permission to perform a task.
He was authorized to access the confidential files.


Having allowance or freedom to do something.
Visitors are permitted to use the library facilities.


Given formal permission by an authority.
The committee authorized the new policy implementation.


Granted permission, either formally or informally.
She was permitted to leave work early.


Endorsed or approved by a governing body.
The program was authorized by the educational board.


Acceptable or within the rules.
Smoking is not permitted inside the building.


To grant authority or power to.


Simple past tense and past participle of permit


To give permission for (something); sanction
The city agency that authorizes construction projects.


Allowed, authorized.


Explicitly allowed.


Possible to allow;
A degree of freedom allowable among friends


Simple past tense and past participle of authorize


Possessed of or endowed with authority; as, an authorized agent.


Sanctioned by authority.


Endowed with authority


Sanctioned by established authority;
An authoritative communique
The authorized biography


Who can authorize an action?

Typically, a specific authority, official body, or person with legal power.

Can anyone permit an action?

Yes, anyone in a position of authority, either formally or informally.

Is authorization always legal?

Often, but not exclusively; it can also be professional or organizational.

Is authorization more powerful than permission?

Generally, yes, as it often implies a higher level of power and responsibility.

Can permission be broad in scope?

Yes, it can cover a wide range of activities and contexts.

How can permission be granted?

Verbally, in writing, or through implied consent.

What are examples of authorized actions?

Signing contracts, making official decisions, accessing restricted areas.

What is the meaning of permitted?

Allowed or given consent to, either formally or informally.

What does it mean to be authorized?

It means having official permission or empowerment, often by a specific authority.

Does authorization imply responsibility?

Yes, it often comes with specific responsibilities and duties.

Is parental consent a form of permission?

Yes, it's a common example of informal permission.

Can a company authorize an individual?

Yes, companies often authorize employees for specific tasks or roles.

Does permitted always mean legal?

Not necessarily; something can be permitted socially but not legally, and vice versa.

Can permission be informal?

Yes, permission can be both formal and informal.

What are common permitted activities?

Entering a public place, using facilities, or attending events.

Can authorization be revoked?

Yes, especially if it's formal, it can be revoked by the authorizing body.

What happens when permission is withdrawn?

The previously permitted action becomes disallowed.

What documents might indicate authorization?

Official certificates, letters of authority, or legal documents.

Are there legal implications to authorization?

Yes, legal responsibilities and liabilities can be associated with it.

Can permission be assumed?

In some contexts, yes, but it's safer to seek explicit permission.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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