home rule


Definition of home rule 

: self-government or limited autonomy in internal affairs by a dependent political unit (such as a territory or municipality)

Examples of home rule in a Sentence

The citizens petitioned for home rule.

Recent Examples on the Web

Tyndall’s life began humbly, in a respectable but impecunious Irish family whose Protestant roots shaped his lifelong opposition to home rule. Peter Pesic, WSJ, "‘The Ascent of John Tyndall’ Review: Science at the Summit," 9 Aug. 2018 State food code says dogs aren’t allowed in a food establishment, but Oak Park has home rule and could amend its local ordinance to allow for dogs, public health director Mike Charley said. Caitlin Mullen, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park Board of Health recommends allowing Beer Shop patrons to bring their dogs," 23 May 2018 East Dundee voters approved home rule in a 2005 referendum. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "East Dundee voters opt for village to keep home rule authority," 21 Mar. 2018 The Chicago ordinance is based on the legal doctrine of home rule authority to address the issue locally in lieu of an amendment to the Condominium Property Act on a statewide level. Howard Dakoff, chicagotribune.com, "In win for condo owners worried about privacy, City Council adopts ordinance shielding personal info," 31 Mar. 2018 Towns with fewer than 25,000 residents must have voters approve home rule authority, which East Dundee did in 2004. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "East Dundee voters overwhelmingly choose to retain home rule," 22 Mar. 2018 With the restoration of democracy, Catalonia achieved the home rule that had long been the limit of its political ambition. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 From its share of the state sales tax as well as collections from its home rule sales tax, Orland Park this year expects total sales tax revenue of about $30 million. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "New taxes, job cuts possible as Orland Park officials tackle budget gap," 8 June 2018 This has been an example of not allowing counties to exercise home rule. Scott Maxwell, OrlandoSentinel.com, "15 questions for the candidates for Orange County mayor. Where do they stand?," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'home rule.' 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 home rule

1858, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near home rule



home row

home rule

home ruler

home run


Statistics for home rule

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for home rule

The first known use of home rule was in 1858

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More Definitions for home rule

home rule


English Language Learners Definition of home rule

: government of a place (such as a country or territory) by the people who live there instead of by another country

home rule


Legal Definition of home rule 

: self-government or limited autonomy in internal affairs by a dependent political unit (as a territory or municipality) also : the political theory or principle of self-government

More from Merriam-Webster on home rule

Britannica English: Translation of home rule for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about home rule

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