Dictionary

1sovereign

noun sov·er·eign \ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\

: a king or queen

: a British gold coin that was used in the past

Full Definition of SOVEREIGN

1
a :  one possessing or held to possess supreme political power or sovereignty
b :  one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere
c :  an acknowledged leader :  arbiter
2
:  any of various gold coins of the United Kingdom

Variants of SOVEREIGN

sov·er·eign also sov·ran \ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\

Examples of SOVEREIGN

  1. <after the current sovereign dies, the monarchy may be abolished>
  2. Ricky Martin, sovereign of Latin pop culture, is back. —Raquel Cepeda, Vibe, May 1999

Origin of SOVEREIGN

Middle English soverain, from Anglo-French soverein, from soverein, adjective (see 2sovereign)
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

2sovereign

adjective sov·er·eign \ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\

: having unlimited power or authority

: not limited

: having independent authority and the right to govern itself

Full Definition of SOVEREIGN

1
a :  superlative in quality
b :  of the most exalted kind :  supreme <sovereign virtue>
c :  having generalized curative powers <a sovereign remedy>
d :  of an unqualified nature :  unmitigated <sovereign contempt>
e :  having undisputed ascendancy :  paramount
2
a :  possessed of supreme power <a sovereign ruler>
b :  unlimited in extent :  absolute
c :  enjoying autonomy :  independent <sovereign states>
3
:  relating to, characteristic of, or befitting a supreme ruler :  royal <a sovereign right>
sov·er·eign·ly adverb

Variants of SOVEREIGN

sov·er·eign also sov·ran \ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\

Examples of SOVEREIGN

  1. the sovereign power of a king
  2. The government's sovereign duty is to protect the rights of its citizens.
  3. Local officials and a huge and enthusiastic crowd greeted Napoleon at the Portoferraio harbor. The Allies had granted him the title of Emperor of Elba, which was to be a sovereign state under his jurisdiction. —David Pryce-Jones, National Review, 4 July 2005

Origin of SOVEREIGN

Middle English soverain, from Anglo-French soverein, from Vulgar Latin *superanus, from Latin super over, above — more at over
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of SOVEREIGN

free, independent, sovereign, autonomous mean not subject to the rule or control of another. free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions <you're free to do as you like>. independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies <the colony's struggle to become independent>. sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere <separate and sovereign armed services>. autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government <in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous>.

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses <freed the animals from their cages>. release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation <released his anger on a punching bag>. liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty <liberated their country from the tyrant>. emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination <labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery>. manumit implies emancipation from slavery <the document manumitted the slaves>.

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism
SOVRAN Defined for Kids

1sovereign

noun sov·er·eign \ˈsä-və-rən, ˈsä-vrən\

Definition of SOVEREIGN for Kids

1
:  a person (as a king or queen) having the highest power and authority
2
:  an old British gold coin

2sovereign

adjective

Definition of SOVEREIGN for Kids

1
:  highest in power or authority <a sovereign ruler>
2
:  having independent authority <a sovereign state>
3
:  of the most important kind <a sovereign duty>
Medical Dictionary

sovereign

adjective sov·er·eign \ˈsäv-(ə-)rən\

Medical Definition of SOVEREIGN

:  having generalized curative powers <a sovereign remedy>

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July 01, 2015
precarious Hear it
not certain, secure, or steady
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