When you authenticate something, you establish that it’s the real thing. If you authenticate a painting, for example, you’re sure that it's an original work, not a copy.

The verb authenticate came into English in the seventeenth century by way of the Latin word authenticat-, meaning “established as valid.” You’ve probably heard it to mean that a valuable item, like a diamond or a rare vase, is genuine. But not everything that has to be authenticated is worth a lot of money. For example, experts authenticate evidence in an investigation and you authenticate your identity to gain access to your email account.

Definitions of authenticate
  1. verb
    establish the authenticity of something
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    obtain probate of
    type of:
    attest, certify, demonstrate, evidence, manifest
    provide evidence for; stand as proof of; show by one's behavior, attitude, or external attributes
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