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

That threat will lead to a drift of activity and people into the euro zone as EU authorities win full sovereignty over the euro zone’s capital markets. The Economist, "Can the City survive Brexit?," 27 June 2019 In North America, sympathizers with the Khalistan movement have recently been presenting this historical conflict as a non-violent call for Sikh sovereignty. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 Others have expressed concern about the sovereignty implications of a private company issuing its own currency. Nir Kshetri, The Conversation, "Facebook’s Libra may be quite attractive in developing countries," 25 June 2019 In 1579, Sir Francis Drake arrived in present-day Northern California, naming it New Albion and claiming English sovereignty. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 17 June 2019 Essentially, this means that while Hong Kong is under Chinese sovereignty, it is supposed to be free to retain its own political and legal systems. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Hong Kong’s leader suspends China extradition bill following mass protests," 15 June 2019 Other economists, like Dani Rodrik, have argued that full participation in the global economy forces a country to give up a degree of either national sovereignty or democracy. The Economist, "How compatible are democracy and capitalism?," 13 June 2019 Jennifer Harrison, a member of Patriot Movement AZ and a Phoenix resident, said the group was present to stand up for the law and sovereignty of the country. azcentral, "Arizonans protest immigration policy at Families Belong Together marches," 30 June 2018 Afghanistan’s rulers, even the radical religious ones, have been nationalists, ready to go to war to protect their sovereignty. Washington Post, "Q&A: How strong is the Islamic State group in Afghanistan," 22 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near sovereignty

SOV

sovenance

sovereign

sovereignty

Sovetsk

Sovetskaya Gavan'

soviet

Statistics for sovereignty

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sovereignty

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

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More Definitions for sovereignty

sovereignty

noun

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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