autonomous

adjective
au·​ton·​o·​mous | \ ȯ-ˈtä-nə-məs How to pronounce autonomous (audio) \

Definition of autonomous

1a : having the right or power of self-government an autonomous territory
b : undertaken or carried on without outside control : self-contained an autonomous school system
2a : existing or capable of existing independently an autonomous zooid
b : responding, reacting, or developing independently of the whole an autonomous growth
3 : controlled by the autonomic nervous system
4 : of, relating to, or marked by autonomy

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Other Words from autonomous

autonomously adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for autonomous

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

Examples of autonomous in a Sentence

Native American nations are regarded as autonomous in many respects and thus not subject to a number of state and local laws.

Recent Examples on the Web

Created in collaboration with the Finnish autonomous vehicle company Sensible 4, the Gacha is an all-weather shuttle bus purpose-designed for arctic weather. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Muji just designed an autonomous shuttle bus," 2 Nov. 2018 According to TechCrunch, Levandowski has returned with an autonomous trucking company called Kache.ai that is still in stealth mode. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Tuesday, July 3," 3 July 2018 Waymo, Lyft and Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company owned by General Motors, did not respond to requests for comment. Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times, "Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam," 19 Mar. 2018 But today, Musk said the only vehicles that would enter his tunnels in the future would be autonomous electric vehicles with deployable tracking wheels. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Ars takes a first tour of the length of The Boring Company’s test tunnel," 19 Dec. 2018 Uber is turning to Toyota for help in autonomous vehicles five months after one of its self-driving cars ran over and killed a pedestrian crossing a dark street in Tempe, Arizona. Fox News, "Toyota investing $500 million in Uber with eye on autonomous cars," 28 Aug. 2018 Ever since Beijing suppressed the pro-democracy movement in the semi-autonomous city in late 2014, heckling China’s national anthem has emerged as a form of protest. Violet Law, The Seattle Times, "Hong Kong’s legislature takes up China national anthem bill," 23 Jan. 2019 In the fall of 2018, Jalopnik reported that Mahindra, already in the running for the next USPS fleet contract, was also tinkering with a partially autonomous prototype. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "12 Geeky Ways to Deliver Mail: U.S. Postal Service Technology Through the Ages," 18 Jan. 2019 After driving across much of the eastern United States in the very capable and comfy 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited, the joys and annoyances of driving in this era—halfway to the autonomous vehicle future—became clear. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "The Road Trip Had to Get Worse Before It Could Get Better," 2 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autonomous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of autonomous

1799, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for autonomous

Greek autonomos independent, from aut- + nomos law — more at nimble

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2019

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The first known use of autonomous was in 1799

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More Definitions for autonomous

autonomous

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of autonomous

: existing or acting separately from other things or people
: having the power or right to govern itself

autonomous

adjective
au·​ton·​o·​mous | \ ȯ-ˈtän-ə-məs How to pronounce autonomous (audio) \

Medical Definition of autonomous

1 : of, relating to, or marked by autonomy
2a : not forming a part (as does an embryo or seed) in the developmental sequence of an organism
b : responding, reacting, or developing independently of the whole a tumor is an autonomous growth
3 : under control of the autonomic nervous system

Other Words from autonomous

autonomously adverb

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