in·​de·​pen·​dent | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce independent (audio) \

Definition of independent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not dependent: such as
a(1) : not subject to control by others : self-governing
(2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit an independent bookstore
b(1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent an independent conclusion
(2) : not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct
(3) : not bound by or committed to a political party
c(1) : not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood) independent of her parents
(2) : being enough to free one from the necessity of working for a living a person of independent means
d : showing a desire for freedom an independent manner
e(1) : not determined by or capable of being deduced or derived from or expressed in terms of members (such as axioms or equations) of the set under consideration especially : having linear independence an independent set of vectors
(2) : having the property that the joint probability (as of events or samples) or the joint probability density function (as of random variables) equals the product of the probabilities or probability density functions of separate occurrence
2 capitalized : of or relating to the Independents
3a : main sense 5 an independent clause
b : neither deducible from nor incompatible with another statement independent postulates



Definition of independent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is independent especially, often capitalized : one that is not bound by or definitively committed to a political party
2 capitalized : a sectarian of an English religious movement for congregational autonomy originating in the late 16th century, giving rise to Congregationalists, Baptists, and Friends, and forming one of the major political groupings of the period of Cromwell

Other Words from independent


independently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for independent


free, independent, sovereign, autonomous mean not subject to the rule or control of another. free stresses the complete absence of external rule and the full right to make all of one's own decisions. you're free to do as you like independent implies a standing alone; applied to a state it implies lack of connection with any other having power to interfere with its citizens, laws, or policies. the colony's struggle to become independent sovereign stresses the absence of a superior power and implies supremacy within a thing's own domain or sphere. separate and sovereign armed services autonomous stresses independence in matters pertaining to self-government. in this denomination each congregation is regarded as autonomous

Examples of independent in a Sentence

Adjective The country recently became independent. They have a good deal of independent authority. She has an independent income. Another laboratory has provided independent confirmation of the test results. She is a very independent person. She has an independent mind. They lead an independent life. Noun She registered to vote as an Independent. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Originally published by the Alaska Beacon, an independent, nonpartisan news organization that covers Alaska state government. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Aug. 2022 Bart Walker, a veteran power player on the independent film who is best known for a long tenure at ICM Partners, is joining Gersh as a partner. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Aug. 2022 Caroline is also a Report for America corps member with the GroundTruth Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to supporting the next generation of journalists in the U.S. and around the world. Caroline Beck, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Aug. 2022 The union group, represented by an independent labor organization called Trader Joe’s United, said organizers plan to secure a contract that will benefit and protect employees. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, 28 July 2022 Victor Serrano, organizing coordinator for the Communications Workers of America District 9, with which Book Soup’s union is affiliated, said unionizing at smaller businesses like independent bookstores is a relatively new phenomenon. Dorany Pineda, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 Eventually, Square Books extended its reach not only across the square but across the country, when Richard became president of the American Booksellers Association, the trade organization for independent bookstores. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 20 July 2022 Unlike Starbucks' unionization effort, which is backed by the larger Workers United union, Chipotle United is an independent organization. CBS News, 19 July 2022 Some 300 new independent bookstores opened in the past couple of years, arresting the spate of closures that happened early in the pandemic. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 12 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Orman, who ran unsuccessfully as an independent for the U.S. Senate representing Kansas, also provided the campaign will polling services valued at $28,500, according to the report. Iris Samuels, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 Biden was forced to withdraw Chipman's nomination in September after opposition from Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, who caucuses with Democrats. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 12 July 2022 Anne Marie Schubert — a former Republican who is running as an independent for attorney general in the election later this year — will be handling cases linked to the tragedy. Justin Raystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2022 Scripps and Tremaine Phillips are Democrats, while Katherine Peretick is an independent. John Flesher, Detroit Free Press, 7 July 2022 Last year, Old Forester reorganized, becoming a part of the overall whiskey portfolio vs. being an independent with in the Brown-Forman culture. Fred Minnick, Forbes, 5 July 2022 In the fourth Orange Bowl, Auburn defeated Michigan State 6-0 on Jan. 1, 1938, but the Spartans were an independent at the time. Mark Inabinett |, al, 30 Dec. 2021 The Cougars are an independent in football with its other sports competing in the West Coast Conference. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 3 Sep. 2021 Brush is now an independent after moving out of the Western Reserve Conference, but WRC rivals Willoughby South and Eastlake North will remain on the schedule. Matt Goul, cleveland, 18 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'independent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of independent


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1644, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for independent

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The first known use of independent was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near independent



independent assortment

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Independent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for independent


in·​de·​pen·​dent | \ ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce independent (audio) \

Kids Definition of independent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not under the control or rule of another an independent country
2 : not connected with something else an independent bookstore
3 : not depending on anyone else for money to live on
4 : thinking freely : not looking to others for guidance an independent thinker

Other Words from independent

independently adverb



Kids Definition of independent (Entry 2 of 2)

: an independent person



Legal Definition of independent

1 : not dependent on others (as parents) for livelihood especially : not a dependent declared she was independent on her financial aid form
2a : not affiliated with another usually larger unit an independent adjuster
b : not contingent on something else an independent promise

Other Words from independent

independence noun
independently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on independent

Nglish: Translation of independent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of independent for Arabic Speakers


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