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 resignation caused alarm among British politicians, many of whom expressed concern that a U.S. president’s forcing a change of U.K. diplomatic staff represents a threat to U.K. national sovereignty. Ciara Nugent, Time, "British Politicians and Former Diplomats Are Furious That Trump 'Bullied' Their Ambassador Out of Office," 10 July 2019 Millennials like Wong and Wilson Lau disagree -- after all, they were also born before the handover, and witnessed the transfer of sovereignty. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Family feuds and social media spats: The generational divide that's splitting apart Hong Kong," 9 July 2019 Two days later, on June 9, Hong Kong saw and estimated 1 million people take to the streets to protest the law, viewed as a dire threat to the autonomy and freedom the city has enjoyed since returning to Chinese sovereignty. Vivienne Chow, Quartzy, "An art show in Switzerland became an accidental lens into Hong Kong’s protests," 4 July 2019 The smaller, rival claimants to sovereignty in the South China Sea, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, control a number of islands in the waters. Kishore Mahbubani, Harper's magazine, "What China Threat?," 10 Feb. 2019 Sunday’s protest was the largest seen in Hong Kong since the Special Administrative Region was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, according to the event’s organizer. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "'We Fear Confidence Will Suffer:' Hong Kong's Extradition Law Is Denounced as Bad for Business," 3 Jan. 2019 That threat will lead to a drift of activity and people into the euro zone as EU authorities win full sovereignty over the euro zone’s capital markets. The Economist, "Can the City survive Brexit?," 27 June 2019 In North America, sympathizers with the Khalistan movement have recently been presenting this historical conflict as a non-violent call for Sikh sovereignty. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 Others have expressed concern about the sovereignty implications of a private company issuing its own currency. Nir Kshetri, The Conversation, "Facebook’s Libra may be quite attractive in developing countries," 25 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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Learn More about sovereignty

Dictionary Entries near sovereignty

SOV

sovenance

sovereign

sovereignty

Sovetsk

Sovetskaya Gavan'

Soviet

Statistics for sovereignty

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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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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