in·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce independence (audio) \

Definition of independence

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the quality or state of being independent
2 archaic : competence sense 2


geographical name
In·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce Independence (audio) \

Definition of Independence (Entry 2 of 2)

city in western Missouri east of Kansas City population 116,830

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Synonyms & Antonyms for independence

Synonyms: Noun

self-dependence, self-reliance, self-subsistence, self-sufficiency, self-support

Antonyms: Noun

dependence (also dependance), reliance

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Examples of independence in a Sentence


She asserted her independence from her parents by getting her own apartment. He has shown a fierce independence of spirit. A month after independence, elections were held.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Presidential Control of Agencies Judge Kavanaugh has also expressed skepticism about moves by Congress to permit executive-branch agencies to operate with some degree of independence from the White House. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Brett Kavanaugh on the Issues: Abortion, Guns, Climate and More," 10 July 2018 On top of the combined $40 million in penalties, Tesla will have to increase the independence of its board, adding two new directors not linked to Musk. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Musk settles—out as Tesla chairman, owes $20 million in penalties," 30 Sep. 2018 Public anger over the 1MDB scandal led to the stunning ouster of Najib's long-ruling coalition in May 9 national polls and ushered in the first change of power since independence from Britain in 1957. Fox News, "Malaysia anti-graft agency arrests former leader Najib Razak," 19 Sep. 2018 Atop a political machine that had governed Malaysia since its independence in 1957, Najib and his allies used political influence, cash handouts, and news media repression to try to keep corruption accusations at bay for years. Hannah Beech And Austin Ramzy,, "Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former prime minister, is arrested amid corruption inquiry," 4 July 2018 Zimbabwe’s election next month will be the first without Mugabe since independence from white minority rule in 1980. Farai Mutsaka, USA TODAY, "A ‘cowardly act:’ Authorities say explosion was assassination attempt on Zimbabwe leader," 23 June 2018 In recent weeks Malaysians voted out Najib Razak and the UMNO party that had ruled since independence; protesters in Armenia broke a decade of one-party rule. The Economist, "Lessons from the rise of strongmen in weak states," 14 June 2018 That steadfast independence is woefully rare in depictions of female characters in pop culture—especially heterosexual women whose entire character arcs are written around the men whose lives apparently give theirs meaning. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Long Live Samantha Jones," 6 June 2018 Celebrating our country's independence is offensive now. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Principal apologizes to black students for 'party like it's 1776' prom tickets | The Kansas City Star," 21 May 2018

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


1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for independence

Last Updated

24 May 2019

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Time Traveler for independence

The first known use of independence was in 1640

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English Language Learners Definition of independence

: freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent
: the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control


in·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dəns How to pronounce independence (audio) \

Kids Definition of independence

: the quality or state of not being under the control of, reliant on, or connected with someone or something else

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Comments on independence

What made you want to look up independence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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