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
Mr Duterte supports autonomy, but has muddied the process with vague proposals on federalism.
There are also questions about regulations accompanying scholarship-granting organizations and school autonomy generally.
This appeared to be because women in highly objectifying workplaces experienced less personal autonomy and were afforded less status compared to men at work.
The MTA needs to have stable leadership, and its leaders should be given the autonomy to execute their vision.
Also, the company allows for a great deal of autonomy and creative flexibility.
But the software allows the rover to actively contribute to scientific observations without much human input, making the leap from automation to autonomy.
Macron has promised to raise the country’s research spending from 2.2% of gross domestic product to 3% and give universities more autonomy.
Each regional manager operates with significant autonomy.
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.
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
What made you want to look up autonomy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).