Definition of autonomy
1 : the quality or state of being self-governing; especially : the right of self-government The territory was granted autonomy.
2 : self-directing freedom and especially moral independence personal autonomy
3 : a self-governing state
Examples of autonomy in a Sentence
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
The term empire implies more than simple cultural dominance or preeminent military power. It applies to states that use force to occupy and control a group of other states or regions. The conquered states, robbed of autonomy and political independence, become colonies, provinces, or territories of the imperial power. Taxes are levied, laws are imposed, soldiers are conscripted, governors are installed—all without the consent of the subjugated state. —Michael J. Glennon, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2002
The social payoff of the new knowledge would be new technology, then new industries and new jobs. Compton got nowhere with the administration, partly because he was an anti-New Dealer, partly because the government was unwilling to grant scientists the autonomy that they claimed, and partly because his program represented a trickle-down approach to economic recovery. —Daniel J. Kevles, New Republic, 30 Sept. 2002
Usually, Americans think of freedom as a condition of personal autonomy, independence from the will of others. This way of thinking reflects just the kind of distinction—between oneself and the rest of the group of which one is a part—that Dewey considered false. —Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club, 2001
a teacher who encourages individual autonomy
The territory has been granted autonomy.
Recent Examples of autonomy from the Web
Tensions between Claire and Frank bubble up again, as Claire isn't pleased that Frank is operating with autonomy.
The Kurds face another threat from Turkey, which also has troops inside Syria and strongly opposes any move toward Kurdish autonomy there.
Since the drafting of democratic Spain's constitution in 1978, the region has enjoyed a degree of autonomy, continuing a centuries-old tradition of self-governance.
A lower form of slave, alipin sagigilid, had less autonomy, lived inside the master’s house, and was on call 24/7.
A humane, liberal society is one in which men and women possess the discipline, self-command, and personal autonomy needed to live with a sense of purpose and direction.
Some have said the ban infringes on states’ commercial autonomy and are calling for a nationwide protest.
Despite his fealty to the idea of nonpartisan professionalism, Hoover fought to keep his agents out of the Civil Service, sure that its rules and regulations would limit his autonomy as director.
Conway, who will serve as counselor to the president, is also likely to have autonomy and direct access to Trump.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autonomy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Autonomy Has Origins in Law
Since nomos is Greek for "law", something autonomous makes its own laws. The amount of autonomy enjoyed by French-speaking Quebec, or of Palestinians in certain towns in Israel, or of independent-minded regions of Russia, have become major issues. The autonomy of individual states in the United States has posed serious constitutional questions for two centuries. The autonomy of children is almost always limited by their parents. But when those parents are elderly and begin driving poorly and getting confused about their finances, their children may see the need to limit their autonomy in much the same way.
Origin and Etymology of autonomy
First Known Use: circa 1623
AUTONOMY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of autonomy for English Language Learners
: the state of existing or acting separately from others
: the power or right of a country, group, etc., to govern itself
Medical Definition of autonomy
1: the quality or state of being independent, free, and self-directing
2: independence from the organism as a whole in the capacity of a part for growth, reactivity, or responsiveness
Seen and Heard
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