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Authorize vs Commission vs Accredit vs License

Authorize, commission, accredit, license denote in common to invest with power or the right to act.

One authorizes a person to act for oneself when he is given the necessary legal right or power with or without instructions of a specific character. Often discretionary powers are implied.

One commissions a person when one not only authorizes but instructs him to perform a definite duty or office.

Commission may imply appointment as one's business agent (as in buying, selling, or supplying goods) or it may suggest an order to do a certain kind of work, especially work of a professional or artistic nature.

One accredits a person when one sends him, invested with authority and possessed of the proper credentials, as a representative, delegate, or ambassador.

One licenses a person or a business, a trade, or a craft when one grants formal legal permission to act in a certain capacity or to carry on a particular business, trade, or craft.

License sometimes stresses permission so strongly that the implication of authorization is obscured and that of regulation substituted.