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 Beijing will act to ‘‘firmly safeguard national sovereignty and security,’’ said Shen Chunyao, director of the Hong Kong, Macao, and Basic Law Commission. BostonGlobe.com, "BEIJING — China’s ruling Communist Party signaled it is preparing to take a tougher approach toward pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, declaring Friday that it would strengthen ways to ‘‘safeguard national security’’ and step up efforts to make Hong Kongers more patriotic toward the mainland.," 2 Nov. 2019 But the lender would not disclose that information, asserting the the Tribe's sovereignty and Michigan's lack of jurisdiction over the Tribe and its tribal entities, including Sierra. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "AG Nessel sues online tribal lender over 'predatory' lending practices," 31 Oct. 2019 China has been aggressive about the subject of sovereignty—in politics, and in business. Wired, "In Flying Flags, Emoji Become Political," 25 Oct. 2019 The Chinese government remains concerned what the protests do to the country’s national sovereignty. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "LeBron James says Rockets GM Daryl Morey 'misinformed' on China tweet, then clarifies remark," 15 Oct. 2019 Others say that the EU is a restraint on trade and that national sovereignty would allow Britain to be more global. The Economist, "The sad decline of Thatcherism," 12 Oct. 2019 Any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability do not belong to the category of free speech. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "NBA postpones Shanghai press event amid worsening spat with China," 9 Oct. 2019 DAOs ask all of their participants to exercise true agency and self-sovereignty, behaviors that are not necessarily intuitive (and not always rewarded) in traditional corporate environments. Aimee Groth, Quartz at Work, "How can we design companies for human flourishing?," 28 Sep. 2019 Efficient border controls are one of the hallmarks of sovereignty and the first line of defense against xenophobia. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 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

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sovereignty.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignty. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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