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 The national security law is due to go into effect on Wednesday, July 1—the 23-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Beijing passes Hong Kong national security law opposed by foreign business groups," 30 June 2020 Kosovo later declared independence from Serbia in 2008; however, Serbia does not fully recognize the claim to sovereignty. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'War crimes, never!': Kosovo president denies charges from The Hague and refuses to step down for now," 29 June 2020 While the People's Republic of China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since its founding in 1949, the historical basis for Liu's claim can be challenged. James Griffiths, CNN, "From the Qing Empire to the People's Republic, China's worries about separatism run deep," 29 June 2020 Hong Kong enjoys semi-autonomous control in the region due to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which established sovereignty after the British released Hong Kong from imperial rule and handed it over to China in 1997. Fox News, "Pompeo: US imposes restrictions on Chinese Communist Party leaders undermining Hong Kong autonomy," 26 June 2020 In the end, observers both inside and outside Israel believe Mr. Netanyahu will try to satisfy everyone by postponing the move, or perhaps by making do with a symbolic declaration of sovereignty over settlements around Jerusalem. Joshua Mitnick, The Christian Science Monitor, "Netanyahu’s annexation dilemma: Making history, but at what cost?," 25 June 2020 Through food shortages, the lack of food sovereignty. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "Podcast: Padma Lakshmi's ‘Taste the Nation’ dismantles ahistorical notions of American identity," 22 June 2020 While purporting to incorporate non-Jews as equals in Israel, liberal Zionists have always reserved the privilege of sovereignty for Jews. Omri Boehm, The New York Review of Books, "After Liberal Zionism, the One Hope for a Democratic Israel," 9 June 2020 Israel's agreeing to negotiations was one of the conditions for the U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, a senior administration official told NBC News this year. NBC News, "Hundreds of European lawmakers condemn Israeli plans annex parts of West Bank," 26 May 2020

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

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sovereignty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sovereignty. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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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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