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
1
a
: 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

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
Recent Examples on the Web However, this national debate on state sovereignty is revolting. Washington Post, 5 July 2024 The broad guidelines for relations between nations emphasize state sovereignty, nonaggression, and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, and were later adopted by the nonaligned movement. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 July 2024 Cameron won only minor concessions on sovereignty and immigration. Joshua Keating, Vox, 2 July 2024 The statement from China’s Foreign Ministry said the company’s cooperation with Taiwan had violated the country’s sovereignty, standard terminology in its discussions of any outside dealings that support the island’s government. Alena Botros, Fortune, 21 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for sovereignty 

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near sovereignty

Cite this Entry

“Sovereignty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignty. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

sovereignty

noun
sov·​er·​eign·​ty ˈsäv-(ə-)rən-tē How to pronounce sovereignty (audio)
ˈsäv-ərn-,
ˈsəv-
plural sovereignties
1
a
: supreme power especially over a politically organized unit : dominion
b
: freedom from outside control : autonomy
c
: the condition of being sovereign or a sovereign
2
: one (as a country) that is sovereign

Legal Definition

sovereignty

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sovereignty

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