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

China’s recovery of sovereignty over the former British colony is a matter of national pride that reversed a century and a half of colonial humiliation. Chris Buckley, BostonGlobe.com, "Hong Kong crisis tests confidence in Xi’s iron grasp," 7 Sep. 2019 China’s recovery of sovereignty over the former British colony is a matter of national pride that reversed a century and a half of colonial humiliation. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "Is Xi Mishandling Hong Kong Crisis? Hints of Unease in China’s Leadership," 7 Sep. 2019 The Brazilian military is invested in protecting Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon, and Bolsonaro so far has shown himself unresponsive to verbal pressure. Felipe Araujo, The New Republic, "The Best Way to Fight Fires in the Amazon," 5 Sep. 2019 This came in spite of Chow watering down her position in election materials, and signing a declaration along with all other prospective candidates, acknowledging China's sovereignty over the city and disavowing Hong Kong independence. James Griffiths And Eric Cheung, CNN, "Hong Kong court overturns ban on pro-democracy candidate Agnes Chow," 2 Sep. 2019 Mr Trump’s way of thinking about the issue may have been appropriate in 1917, when the United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark and sovereignty over sparsely populated islands could still be a transaction between foreign powers. The Economist, "A polarising president: Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland," 16 Aug. 2019 But the apprehension of two Chinese men later that night raised the stakes amid an already delicate situation between Hong Kong and Beijing, which has sovereignty over the city. Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong riot police, armed with pepper spray and batons, clash with protesters at airport," 14 Aug. 2019 The city’s administration is under mounting pressure from Beijing to rein in the protests, which have increasingly targeted China’s sovereignty over the former British colony. Time Staff, Time, "Hong Kongers Go on Strike to Support the 'Revolution of Our Time'," 5 Aug. 2019 Beijing has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan, and demands that foreign countries seek permission before naval ships go through the strait. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "Canadian Vessels Pass Through Taiwan Strait," 19 June 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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Dictionary Entries near sovereignty

SOV

sovenance

sovereign

sovereignty

Sovetsk

Sovetskaya Gavan'

soviet

Statistics for sovereignty

Last Updated

12 Sep 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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