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 Chief Leonard Crow Dog, a renowned spiritual leader and Native American rights activist who fought for sovereignty, language preservation and religious freedom, has died at age 78. BostonGlobe.com, 12 June 2021 Indigenous food sovereignty – the right and responsibility of Indigenous people to produce healthy and culturally appropriate foods through traditional Indigenous food systems – has emerged as an important strategy to support Indigenous communities. Valarie Blue Bird Jernigan, The Conversation, 27 May 2021 Tribal leaders attribute this success to several factors, including tribal sovereignty, which gave tribes the flexibility to create their own methods of distributing the vaccine, and cultural values that prioritize elders and community. Washington Post, 26 May 2021 This is sovereignty in action: messy and jagged and oftentimes pointed in different directions. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 18 May 2021 The movement stood not only for stopping the pipeline but also against excavating fossil fuels in general while embracing tribal sovereignty, environmental justice and the protection of water sources. Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times, Star Tribune, 20 Apr. 2021 In 1975, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act became law, which provided tribes with more sovereignty, including over their education. oregonlive, 8 Apr. 2021 But that agreement has struggled with long-standing issues over sovereignty, competition and E.U. rights to fish in British waters, as well as the global pandemic. Adam Shaw, Fox News, 25 Dec. 2020 Data sovereignty is the right of any Indigenous nation to govern the collection, ownership and application of data from its own people and is intended to prevent the misuse of Indigenous data or biological samples. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, 25 May 2021

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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Learn More About sovereignty

Time Traveler for sovereignty

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sovereignty

SOV

sovenance

sovereign

sovereignty

Sovetsk

Sovetskaya Gavan'

soviet

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Statistics for sovereignty

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sovereignty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignty. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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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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