sovereignty

noun
sov·​er·​eign·​ty | \ ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē How to pronounce sovereignty (audio) , -vərn-tē also ˈsə- \
variants: or less commonly sovranty
plural sovereignties also sovranties

Definition of sovereignty

1a : supreme power especially over a body politic
b : freedom from external control : autonomy
c : controlling influence
2 : one that is sovereign especially : an autonomous state
3 obsolete : supreme excellence or an example of it

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Examples of sovereignty in a Sentence

Nor was the sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian race recognized at the time Hawaii became a state. — Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 18 July 2005 Cesaire's wrenching chant of self-affirmation announced a new era of intellectual and cultural sovereignty for black writers in French. — Lila Azam Zanganeh, New York Times Book Review, 12 June 2005 The position plunged him into a supremely complicated religious and political game. Throughout Europe the old order of divinely sanctioned kingdoms was battling models of popular sovereignty and citizenship inspired by the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the adolescent U.S. — David Van Biema, Time, 4 Sept. 2000 upon leaving home she felt that she had achieved sovereignty for the first time in her life as parts of the same sovereignty, the states should not enact laws intended to harm one another economically
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Recent Examples on the Web Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday reaffirmed his country’s sovereignty during a visit to a group of islands at the edge of the South China Sea that China claims as its traditional fishing area. Washington Post, "Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea," 13 Jan. 2020 Following Saturday's vote, Tsai addressed tensions with China over the territory's sovereignty, saying Taiwan is willing to engage with China but that China must respect the voice of Taiwan's voters. James Griffiths, CNN, "Taiwan's President thanks electorate after winning reelection," 11 Jan. 2020 That is an unusually blunt message to Baghdad, after days of complaints that the United States is violating Iraqi sovereignty. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "'A tenacious rearguard action’: State Department claps back against Baghdad asking US to pull troops from Iraq," 10 Jan. 2020 In his phone call with Pompeo, Abdul Mahdi condemned the Iranian missile strikes, saying his country objects to any attack that violates Iraq's sovereignty and turns the country into a war zone. Sarah Dadouch, Anchorage Daily News, "Iraq asks U.S. to set up mechanism for troop withdrawal," 10 Jan. 2020 Rival accounts focus on economic concerns or disputes about sovereignty. Samuel Goldman, National Review, "The Populist Wager," 9 Jan. 2020 But the real question at hand is about treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eighteen Podcasts to Listen to in 2020," 25 Dec. 2019 Members understand they are protected as long as the UAW has autonomy and sovereignty. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "UAW President Gary Jones to take leave of absence as corruption investigation escalates," 2 Nov. 2019 And linking sovereignty to strong borders, Trump touted a hawkish immigration worldview popular with his conservative political base while chastising other governments for not doing their part. Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "At UN, Trump calls on other nations to act against ‘Iran’s bloodlust’," 24 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sovereignty.' 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 sovereignty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for sovereignty

Middle English soverainte, from Anglo-French sovereinté, from soverein — see sovereign entry 2

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Time Traveler for sovereignty

Time Traveler

The first known use of sovereignty was in the 14th century

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Statistics for sovereignty

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sovereignty.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignties. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for sovereignty

sovereignty

noun
How to pronounce sovereignty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sovereignty

: unlimited power over a country
: a country's independent authority and the right to govern itself

sovereignty

noun
sov·​er·​eign·​ty | \ ˈsä-və-rən-tē How to pronounce sovereignty (audio) , ˈsä-vrən- \
plural sovereignties

Kids Definition of sovereignty

1 : supreme power especially over a political unit (as a country)
2 : a country's independent authority and right of self-control

sovereignty

noun
sov·​er·​eign·​ty | \ ˈsä-vrən-tē, ˈsə-, -və-rən- \
plural sovereignties

Legal Definition of sovereignty

1a : supreme power especially over a body politic
b : freedom from external control : autonomy
2 : one that is sovereign especially : an autonomous state

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Comments on sovereignty

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