someone who holds a government office

An official (and, or, functionary) is someone who holds an office (meaning an official position) in an organisation or government. This doesn't have to mean an office room—it can also just mean an important rank. An official in government is called a government official or public official (See also: Public administration). Officials may be appointed or elected to their position.[1][2]


The term officer is close to having the same meaning as "official" (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 an official but with connotations closer to a bureaucrat. A civil servant can also have a similar meaning to an official.


  1. "Elected Versus Appointed Policymakers". National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. Meaning of functionary in English Cambridge University Press
  This article includes text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please add to the article as needed.

Other websites