independent

1 of 2

adjective

in·​de·​pen·​dent ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce independent (audio)
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
3
a
: main sense 5
an independent clause
b
: neither deducible from nor incompatible with another statement
independent postulates
independently adverb

independent

2 of 2

noun

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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
McNamara and billionaire Joe Gebbia, who founded Airbnb, launched Samara as an independent company in 2022 with $41 million in funding. David Caraccio, Sacramento Bee, 5 Apr. 2024 But the independent autopsy results debunk the city's claims by stating Wade was in fact carrying identification and the family could have been promptly notified. Minnah Arshad, USA TODAY, 5 Apr. 2024 Cpics focuses on curating and developing content from independent South Asian creators. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 Beauregard’s latest, Ulysse, is a collaborative timepiece made with Vianney Halter, one of watchmaking’s original independent watchmakers. Elizabeth Doerr, Robb Report, 5 Apr. 2024 Previously, the website claimed that the tool also detects audio generated by other providers, but independent research has shown poor results. Huo Jingnan, NPR, 5 Apr. 2024 This story was produced with financial support from individuals and Berkowitz Contemporary Arts in partnership with Journalism Funding Partners, as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. Amanda Rosa, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 But at the core of initiative’s work is the Boulanger Initiative Database (BID), an open-access collection of over 8,000 works by more than 1,200 composers, made freely available to musicians, conductors, administrators and independent musical explorers. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 Asked for comment on the calls for an independent investigation, the IDF referred NBC News to an earlier statement by Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, chief of staff of the Israeli military. Raf Sanchez, NBC News, 4 Apr. 2024
Noun
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Over the years, Lieberman parted with his fellow Democrats and would win his final term in the Senate as an independent in 2006. Cbs New York Team, CBS News, 29 Mar. 2024 Citing his Senate experience, congressional clout and support for the state’s defense industry, Lieberman went on to win reelection to a fourth term as an independent. Susan Haigh, Fortune, 28 Mar. 2024 But pollsters found that a wedge was starting to form, as backing among Republicans and conservative independents had dropped 13 percentage points just since the previous year. Emily L. Mahoney, Miami Herald, 28 Mar. 2024 And Republicans are more likely than independents and Democrats to hold such beliefs. Jason Derose, NPR, 27 Mar. 2024 Defying Democratic leaders and friends, Lieberman ran successfully for reelection as an independent and drew support from some Republican allies. Christopher Keating, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 Kari Lake, a Trump acolyte running for Senate in Arizona, is struggling to walk away from the controversial positions that have turned off independents and alienated establishment Republicans. Katie Rogers, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2024 Lake will have to win over the Republicans and independents who were leery of her two years ago. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 23 Mar. 2024 Ferbert has stressed the need for a city attorney independent of the council and the mayor, while suggesting relationships could be improved. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'independent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1644, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of independent was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near independent

Cite this Entry

“Independent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/independent. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

independent

1 of 2 adjective
in·​de·​pen·​dent ˌin-də-ˈpen-dənt How to pronounce independent (audio)
1
: not being controlled or ruled by another : free
an independent nation
2
: not having connections with another : separate
the same story told by independent witnesses
3
: having or providing enough money to live on without anyone else's help
also : not having to work for a living
a person of independent means
4
: not easily influenced
an independent mind
5
: having full meaning in itself and capable of standing alone as a simple sentence : main entry 2
an independent clause
6
: not belonging to a political party
7
: having probabilities such that whether or not one event takes place does not influence whether or not another event takes place
the outcomes of the tossing of two dice are independent
independently adverb

independent

2 of 2 noun
: one that is independent
especially : a voter who doesn't belong to a political party

Legal Definition

independent

adjective
in·​de·​pen·​dent
1
: not dependent on others (as parents) for livelihood
especially : not a dependent
declared she was independent on her financial aid form
2
a
: not affiliated with another usually larger unit
an independent adjuster
b
: not contingent on something else
an independent promise
independence noun
independently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on independent

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