in·​de·​pen·​dence | \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s \

Definition of independence 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the quality or state of being independent

2 archaic : competence sense 1


geographical name
In·​de·​pen·​dence | \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dən(t)s \

Definition of Independence (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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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

Mostly because Croatia didn’t field a team until 1990, shortly before declaring independence a year later. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Croatia Eyes the Greatest Upset in World Cup History," 13 July 2018 Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in 2008, which led to the regions declaring independence., "NATO says it is united at end of raucous, divisive summit," 12 July 2018 His promises of independence at CNN came with a surprising caveat. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Martin Sorrell's plan to build a digital ad business has officially begun," 10 July 2018 The two goal scorers have ethnic Albanian heritage linked to Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Graham Dunbar,, "FIFA fines 3 Swiss players for goal celebration gestures," 25 June 2018 The relatively-new country — one of seven formed after the breakdown of Yugoslavia — declared independence in 1991 but has faced disputes with neighbor Greece that carries deep historical roots, dating back to Alexander the Great. Editors, USA TODAY, "Scorching weather, Father's Day and World Cup group stage: 5 things to know this weekend," 16 June 2018 Eritrea declared independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after decades of conflict, and the nations have been at odds after a 1998-2000 border war that claimed thousands of lives. Nizar Manek,, "Ethiopia Appoints New Army Chief After Peace Overture to Eritrea," 7 June 2018 July 4, 1776: the United States declared independence from Britain. Savvy Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Scientific American, "5 Ways Technology is Making Us Anxious," 16 May 2018 After the territory unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, rape survivors were invisible. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "Kosovo's attempt to help wartime rape survivors reopens old wounds," 10 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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8 Nov 2018

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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 \

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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