someone who holds a government office

An official is someone who holds an office (i.e. function, mandate) in an organisation, of any kind. A public official is an official of central or local government. Officials may be appointed or elected to their office.[1]

Other meaningsEdit

The term officer is close to being a synonym (but has more military connotations). A functionary is someone who carries out a particular role within an organisation; this is quite a close synonym for official, as a noun, but with connotations closer to bureaucrat.


  1. "Elected Versus Appointed Policymakers". National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
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