What does autonomy mean?

Definitions for autonomy
ɔˈtɒn ə miau·ton·o·my

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word autonomy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. autonomy, libertynoun

    immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence

  2. autonomy, self-direction, self-reliance, self-sufficiencynoun

    personal independence


  1. autonomynoun

    Self-government; freedom to act or function independently.

  2. autonomynoun

    The capacity to make an informed, uncoerced decision.

  3. autonomynoun

    The capacity of a system to make a decision about its actions without the involvement of another system or operator.

  4. Etymology: From αὐτονομία, from αὐτόνομος, from αὐτός + νόμος. See auto- and -nomy.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Autonomynoun

    The living according to one’s mind and prescription. Dict.

    Etymology: ἀυτονομία.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Autonomynoun

    the power or right of self-government; self-government, or political independence, of a city or a state

  2. Autonomynoun

    the sovereignty of reason in the sphere of morals; or man's power, as possessed of reason, to give law to himself. In this, according to Kant, consist the true nature and only possible proof of liberty

  3. Etymology: [Gr. : cf. F. autonomie. See Autonomous.]


  1. Autonomy

    Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political, and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision. In moral and political philosophy, autonomy is often used as the basis for determining moral responsibility for one's actions. One of the best known philosophical theories of autonomy was developed by Kant. In medicine, respect for the autonomy of patients is an important goal of deontology, though it can conflict with a competing ethical principle, namely beneficence. Autonomy is also used to refer to the self-government of the people.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Autonomy

    aw-ton′om-i, n. the power or right of self-government: (Kant's philos.) the doctrine that the human will carries its guiding principle within itself.—adjs. Auton′omous, Autonom′ic. [Gr.—autos, and nomos, law.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Autonomy

    in the Kantian metaphysics denotes the sovereign right of the pure reason to be a law to itself.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. autonomy

    The power or right of self-government. This was a privilege jealously preserved in all the important cities of ancient Greece, nearly every one of which was an independent state. The right to make their own laws and elect their own magistrates was also granted by the Romans to some of their cities, and was regarded as a mark of honor.

Editors Contribution

  1. autonomy

    The quality and fact of being autonomous.

    Autonomy is granted to employees as we trust them to make intelligent choices for the shared prosperity of everyone within the company, unity and teamwork makes the plan work.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 31, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'autonomy' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4711

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'autonomy' in Nouns Frequency: #1992

How to pronounce autonomy?

How to say autonomy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of autonomy in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of autonomy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of autonomy in a Sentence

  1. Natalia Kanem:

    The right to autonomy over our bodies means we must have the power and agency to make choices without fear of violence or having someone else decide for us.

  2. Jennifer Lincoln:

    It's really scary. We have to tell the patients,' we'll put you on a schedule, but we don't know what tomorrow holds.' And as a patient, that is absolutely terrifying to hear, as a provider, that's devastating. Turn somebody away ? That's awful. Say' I can't take care of you because the government says I can't' ? When I know that this is safe and that your bodily autonomy is first and foremost ?

  3. Chas Roy-Chowdhury:

    Any tax policy will be closely aligned with what the EU does because that will create much greater certainty for businesses. So while the Brexiteers (anti-EU campaigners) may be talking about all this autonomy, I think the reality is there will be very close alignment with the EU.

  4. Stuart Young:

    With reduced workloads pilots can focus on mission management instead of the mechanics, this unique combination of autonomy software and hardware will make flying both smarter and safer.

  5. Phil Spencer:

    We believe that creative success and autonomy go hand-in-hand with treating every person with dignity and respect. We hold all teams, and all leaders, to this commitment, we're looking forward to extending our culture of proactive inclusion to the great teams across Activision Blizzard.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for autonomy

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for autonomy »


Find a translation for the autonomy definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these autonomy definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "autonomy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Sep. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/autonomy>.

    Are we missing a good definition for autonomy? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow)
    • A. ignominy
    • B. pluck
    • C. dint
    • D. jab

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for autonomy: