What does sovereign mean?

Definitions for sovereign
ˈsɒv rɪn, ˈsɒv ər ɪn, ˈsʌv-sov·er·eign

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word sovereign.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sovereign, crowned head, monarchadjective

    a nation's ruler or head of state usually by hereditary right

  2. autonomous, independent, self-governing, sovereignadjective

    (of political bodies) not controlled by outside forces

    "an autonomous judiciary"; "a sovereign state"

  3. sovereign, supremeadjective

    greatest in status or authority or power

    "a supreme tribunal"


  1. sovereignnoun

    A monarch; the ruler of a country.

  2. sovereignnoun

    One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation.

  3. sovereignnoun

    A gold coin minted by the United Kingdom.

  4. sovereignnoun

    A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to standard bottles.

  5. sovereignadjective

    Exercising power of rule.

    sovereign nation

  6. sovereignadjective

    Exceptional in quality.

  7. sovereignadjective

    Extremely potent or effective (of a medicine, remedy etc.).

  8. sovereignadjective

    Having supreme, ultimate power.

  9. Etymology: From soverain, from root *superānus (cf. Italian sovrano, Spanish soberano) from Latin super. Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sovereignadjective

    Etymology: souverain, French; sovrano, Spanish.

    As teaching bringeth us to know that God is our supreme truth; so prayer testifieth that we acknowledge him our sovereign good. Richard Hooker.

    You, my sovereign lady,
    Causeless have laid disgraces on my head. William Shakespeare, Hen. IV.

    None of us who now thy grace implore,
    But held the rank of sovereign queen before,
    Till giddy chance, whose malice never bears
    That mortal bliss should last for length of years,
    Cast us headlong from our high estate. Dryden.

    Whether Esau, then, were a vassal to Jacob, and Jacob his sovereign prince by birth right, I leave the reader to judge. John Locke.

    A memorial of their fidelity and zeal, a sovereign preservative of God’s people from the venomous infection of heresy. Richard Hooker.

    The most sovereign prescription in Galen is but empirick; and to this preservative of no better report than a horse-drench. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Love-wounded Protheus,
    My bosom, as a bed,
    Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal’d,
    And thus I search it with a sov’reign kiss. William Shakespeare.

    A water we call water of paradise, by that we do to it, is made very sovereign for health. Francis Bacon.

    Like the scum starv’d men did draw
    From parboil’d shoes and boots, and all the rest
    Which were with any sovereign fatness blest. John Donne.

    Be cool, my friend, and hear my muse dispense
    Some sovereign comforts drawn from common sense. Dryden.

  2. Sovereignnoun

    Supreme lord.

    O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
    And bid his ears a little while be deaf. William Shakespeare.

    By my sovereign, and his fate, I swear,
    Renown’d for faith in peace, for force in war,
    Oft our alliance other lands desir’d. Dryden.


  1. Sovereign

    Sovereign is a title that can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French souverain, which is ultimately derived from the Latin superānus, meaning 'above'. The roles of a sovereign vary from monarch, ruler or head of state to head of municipal government or head of a chivalric order. As a result, the word sovereignty has more recently also come to mean independence or autonomy.


  1. sovereign

    A sovereign refers to a supreme ruler or authority, possessing ultimate power and control, usually in the context of a monarch or a head of state in a monarchy. In a broader context, it can also refer to an independent state or nation that has full control over its internal and external affairs. Additionally, it can describe something or someone which exercises authority without interference from outside sources, or possessing supreme or ultimate power.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sovereignadjective

    supreme or highest in power; superior to all others; chief; as, our sovereign prince

  2. Sovereignadjective

    independent of, and unlimited by, any other; possessing, or entitled to, original authority or jurisdiction; as, a sovereign state; a sovereign discretion

  3. Sovereignadjective

    princely; royal

  4. Sovereignadjective

    predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount

  5. Sovereignadjective

    efficacious in the highest degree; effectual; controlling; as, a sovereign remedy

  6. Sovereignnoun

    the person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; especially, in a monarchy, a king, queen, or emperor

  7. Sovereignnoun

    a gold coin of Great Britain, on which an effigy of the head of the reigning king or queen is stamped, valued at one pound sterling, or about $4.86

  8. Sovereignnoun

    any butterfly of the tribe Nymphalidi, or genus Basilarchia, as the ursula and the viceroy

  9. Etymology: [OE. soverain, sovereyn, OF. soverain, suvrain, F. souverain, LL. superanus, fr. L. superus that is above, upper, higher, fr. super above. See Over, Super, and cf. Soprano. The modern spelling is due to a supposed connection with reign.]


  1. Sovereign

    Sovereign is an EP by the Oakland, California band Neurosis. As with the previous album, Times of Grace it was recorded by Steve Albini at Electric Audio in Chicago, Illinois. The CD contains a mixed-media CD-Rom portion featuring visuals and music reminiscent of their live shows and their work under the Tribes of Neurot moniker. In 2011 Neurot Recordings released a reissue that includes bonus track "Misgiven".

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sovereign

    suv′rān, or sov′e-rān, adj. supreme: possessing supreme power or dominion: superior to all others: utmost: most efficacious—(Milt.) Sov′ran.—n. a supreme ruler: a monarch: a gold coin=20s.—v.t. to rule over as a sovereign.—adj. Sov′ereignest (Shak.), most effectual.—adv. Sov′ereignly, in a sovereign manner: in the highest degree: supremely.—n. Sov′ereignty, supreme power: dominion. [O. Fr. sovrain—Low L. superanus—L. super, supra, above.]

Suggested Resources

  1. sovereign

    Quotes by sovereign -- Explore a large variety of famous quotes made by sovereign on the Quotes.net website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Sovereign

    So called because when first struck, in the reign of Henry VIII., this gold coin had upon it a representation of that sovereign in his royal robes.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sovereign is ranked #41426 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Sovereign surname appeared 525 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Sovereign.

    95% or 499 total occurrences were White.
    1.3% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.9% or 5 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce sovereign?

How to say sovereign in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sovereign in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sovereign in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of sovereign in a Sentence

  1. Jose Chrispiniano:

    These are normal activities. The ex-president did nothing illegal and was discussing sovereign guarantees for loans to Cuba in a meeting where a diplomat was present.

  2. Prince Mohammed:

    There will be no investment, movement or development in any region of the world without the vote of the Saudi sovereign fund.

  3. Peter Laurelli:

    This is an indication that SWFs (sovereign wealth funds) have slowly seen their sentiment change in the near term to global equities, both to active and passive strategies, as they had been removing assets at an elevated rate in the three quarters prior to Q2 2019.

  4. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski:

    This is a responsibility of the sovereign state of Nigeria.

  5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

    The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sovereign

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"sovereign." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sovereign>.

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