independent

adjective
in·​de·​pen·​dent | \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt \

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

independent

noun

Definition of independent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 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

2 : one that is independent especially, often capitalized : one that is not bound by or definitively committed to a political party

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Other Words from independent

Adjective

independently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for independent

Adjective

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

What’s happening more often, insurance officials say, is that travelers have grown more independent and more willing to take risks. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Travel Mistakes That Can Land You in the Hospital," 7 Nov. 2018 The Cook Political Report — an independent, non-partisan election analysis newsletter that evaluates which way voters lean in certain areas — rates several key House races as toss-ups, especially for Republicans. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "2018 Midterm Congressional Election Results: Which Party Is Winning the House and the Senate?," 7 Nov. 2018 Part of the Trump administration's bid to rollback the Obama-era fuel efficiency rules has been to end California's waiver to set its own fuel efficiency rules, independent of the federal government. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "GM wants alternative to fuel economy standards from Obama, rollback from Trump," 28 Oct. 2018 After Markle's door-closing footage went viral, some fans praised her for being independent and humble, despite her royal status. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Has Closed Her Own Car Door Before So Everyone Calm Down," 26 Sep. 2018 Republicans held almost a 5-point advantage over Democrats in party registration, about 38 to 33 percent, but another 29 percent of voters were registered as independent or third party. Steven Lemongello, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Congress District 6: Where 6 candidates stand on issues," 13 July 2018 For those feeling nostalgic about the video store, there are still some independent, non-Blockbuster stores operating in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "There's Only One Blockbuster Left in the United States," 13 July 2018 He is widely respected as a fair, independent & mainstream judge. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "After Stealing SCOTUS Seat, GOP Blasts Dems for Partisan Opposition to Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 But the very first books in the series, the ones that established her particular steely bravery, were written by Benson, who was just as tenacious and bold and independent as her heroine. Jennifer Fisher, Smithsonian, "The Adventurous Writer Who Brought Nancy Drew To Life," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Democrats and independents feared that Walker, even with his low approval ratings, would split votes with Begich, which would allow Dunleavy to win with well under 50 percent of the vote. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Mike Dunleavy elected governor of Alaska: rare 2018 pickup for Republicans," 7 Nov. 2018 What the pollster told me is that while that there is an element of that that's happening with independents, what happened is because the Democrats are running people that are so far extreme to the left, wanting to abolish ICE, socialism for all. Fox News, "Democrats threaten to investigate Kavanaugh after midterms," 21 Sep. 2018 Some Democrats and independents fear Begich and Walker will split the vote, giving the win to the Republicans — a fear that Democratic Party leaders are trying to calm. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Former Sen. Mark Begich’s entry causes angst in Alaska governor’s race," 4 July 2018 Thirty-one percent of Republicans and 83% Democrats support such with independents settling at 50%. Grace Sparks, CNN, "Half of Texans support stricter gun laws in the US," 1 June 2018 The final vote was 50-49 and strictly along party lines, with all Republicans supporting Bridenstine and all Democrats, along with both independents, opposing him. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "New NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine Faces ‘Uphill Climb’ After Contentious Confirmation," 20 Apr. 2018 The final vote was 50-49 and strictly along party lines, with all Republicans supporting Bridenstine and all Democrats, along with both independents, opposing him. Mike Wall, Space.com, "New NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine Faces 'Uphill Climb' After Contentious Confirmation," 20 Apr. 2018 McCain's blunt talk particularly resonated with New Hampshire's independents. azcentral, "John McCain's 2000 presidential run saw challenges, 'ugly' politics," 2 Apr. 2018 Nearly 60 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents rank Reagan among the top two presidents in their lifetimes, while 40 percent name Trump. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Obama tops survey of ‘best presidents’; Trump runs fourth," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of independent

Adjective

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for independent

The first known use of independent was in 1611

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More Definitions for independent

independent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of independent

: someone or something that is not connected to others of the same kind

politics : a person who does not belong to a political party

independent

adjective
in·​de·​pen·​dent | \ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt \

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

independent

noun

Kids Definition of independent (Entry 2 of 2)

: an independent person

independent

adjective
in·​de·​pen·​dent

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

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