sovereignty

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noun sov·er·eign·ty \ ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē , -vərn-tē also ˈsə- \
variants: or less commonly sovranty

Definition of sovereignty

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

Examples of sovereignty in a Sentence

  1. Nor was the sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian race recognized at the time Hawaii became a state. —Ramesh PonnuruNational Review18 July 2005
  2. Cesaire's wrenching chant of self-affirmation announced a new era of intellectual and cultural sovereignty for black writers in French. —Lila Azam ZanganehNew York Times Book Review12 June 2005
  3. 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 BiemaTime4 Sept. 2000
  4. upon leaving home she felt that she had achieved sovereignty for the first time in her life

  5. as parts of the same sovereignty, the states should not enact laws intended to harm one another economically

Recent Examples of sovereignty from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sovereignty

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


SOVEREIGNTY Defined for English Language Learners

sovereignty

play
noun

Definition of sovereignty for English Language Learners

  • : unlimited power over a country

  • : a country's independent authority and the right to govern itself


SOVEREIGNTY Defined for Kids

sovereignty

play
noun sov·er·eign·ty \ ˈsä-və-rən-tē , ˈsä-vrən- \

Definition of sovereignty for Students

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

Law Dictionary

sovereignty

noun sov·er·eign·ty \ ˈsä-vrən-tē, ˈsə-, -və-rən- \

legal Definition of sovereignty

plural sovereignties
1 a :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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