het·​er·​on·​o·​my ˌhe-tə-ˈrä-nə-mē How to pronounce heteronomy (audio)
: subjection to something else
especially : a lack of moral freedom or self-determination

Examples of heteronomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For this reason, the passage from Arab spring to Arab winter should be understood first and foremost as a narrative of self-determination, choice, and consequences, not as a story of heteronomy and external imposition. New York Times, 12 May 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heteronomy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


heter- + -nomy (as in autonomy)

First Known Use

1798, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heteronomy was in 1798

Dictionary Entries Near heteronomy

Cite this Entry

“Heteronomy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heteronomy. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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