noun au·ton·o·my \-ˈtä-nə-mē\

: the state of existing or acting separately from others

: the power or right of a country, group, etc., to govern itself

plural au·ton·o·mies

Full Definition of AUTONOMY

:  the quality or state of being self-governing; especially :  the right of self-government
:  self-directing freedom and especially moral independence
:  a self-governing state

Examples of AUTONOMY

  1. a teacher who encourages individual autonomy
  2. The territory has been granted autonomy.
  3. The Catalans take the matter of their language very seriously; it is an outward indication of their autonomy, of their distinction from the rest of Spain. —Polly Evans, It's Not About the Tapas, 2006

Origin of AUTONOMY

(see autonomous)
First Known Use: circa 1623

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal


noun au·ton·o·my \-mē\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural au·ton·o·mies

Medical Definition of AUTONOMY

:  the quality or state of being independent, free, and self-directing
:  independence from the organism as a whole in the capacity of a part for growth, reactivity, or responsiveness


Next Word in the Dictionary: autonymousPrevious Word in the Dictionary: autonomous underwater vehicleAll Words Near: autonomy
April 02, 2015
capricious Hear it
impulsive or unpredictable
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears