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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for independence

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of independence in a Sentence

Noun 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Jeans, first worn by workers, are among the most democratic of garments and have become a universal uniform while retaining their symbolic connection with youth and independence. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Valentino’s Spring Surprise? A Collaboration With Levi’s," 27 Sep. 2020 But the most lasting lessons were those of character, instilling grit, independence and the understanding that Enola should not let society dictate her path. Kevin Crust,, "Review: Sherlock who? Millie Bobby Brown is terrific in the clever ‘Enola Holmes’," 23 Sep. 2020 Besides, the high court’s history suggests that justices, no matter who appoints them, are conscious of the need to safeguard the body’s stature and independence. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Supreme Court battle could tarnish global luster of US judiciary," 22 Sep. 2020 The school provides special education students who graduated high school in the Edgewood Independent School District with training for future employment and independence. Andres Picon,, "‘It’s sunshine’ at San Antonio’s Edgewood ISD as adults with disabilities return to school," 21 Sep. 2020 The key to their lives is independence and life on the water. Carl Nolte,, "Sausalito affordable housing push for old Marinship shipyard stirs passions," 19 Sep. 2020 If the childhoods of many of their parents were marked by play and independence, many millennial childhoods were carefully structured with playdates, music lessons, organized sports leagues, and constant academic striving. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, "The Generation That Was Exhausted," 18 Sep. 2020 The Samaritan Inn works with the homeless population, seeking to help people gain dignity and independence. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "These McKinney nonprofits are hoping for your help on North Texas Giving Day," 17 Sep. 2020 Earlier in the year, some Republicans on the panel expressed concerns about Shelton’s views on the Fed’s independence and monetary policy. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Judy Shelton doesn’t have the votes for confirmation to Federal Reserve, leading Senate Republican says," 15 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of independence


1640, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about independence

Time Traveler for independence

Time Traveler

The first known use of independence was in 1640

See more words from the same year

Statistics for independence

Last Updated

30 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Independence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for independence


How to pronounce Independence (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!