What does sovereignty mean?

Definitions for sovereignty
ˈsɒv rɪn ti, ˈsʌv-sovereign·ty

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sovereigntynoun

    government free from external control

  2. reign, sovereigntynoun

    royal authority; the dominion of a monarch

  3. sovereigntynoun

    the authority of a state to govern another state


  1. sovereigntynoun

    The state of making laws and controlling resources without the coercion of other nations.

  2. sovereigntynoun

    Supreme authority over all things. (as in an emperor, king, dictator, or God, ref. 'King of kings, and Lord of lords')

  3. sovereigntynoun

    The liberty to decide one's thoughts and actions.

  4. Etymology: From soverain, from root *superānus (cf. Italian sovrano, Spanish soberano) from Latin super. Plus the Latinate English suffix -ity. Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Sovereigntynoun

    Supremacy; highest place; supreme power; highest degree of excellence.

    Etymology: souverainetè, French.

    Give me pardon,
    That I, your vassal, have employed and pain’d
    Your unknown sovereignty. William Shakespeare.

    Happy were England, would this virtuous prince
    Take on his grace the sov’reignty thereof. William Shakespeare.

    To give laws unto a people, to institute magistrates and officers over them; to punish and pardon malefactors; to have the sole authority of making war and peace, are the true marks of sovereignty. Davies.

    A mighty hunter thence he shall be stil’d
    Before the Lord; as in despite of heav’n,
    Or from heav’n, claiming second sov’reignty. John Milton.

    Nothing does so gratify a haughty humour, as this piece of usurped sovereignty over our brethren. Govern. of the Tongue.

    Jove’s own tree,
    That holds the woods in awful sov’reignty,
    Requires a depth of lodging in the ground;
    High as his topmost boughs to heav’n ascend,
    So low his roots to hell’s dominion tend. Dryden.

    I well foresee, whene’er thy suit I grant,
    That I my much lov’d sov’reignty shall want,
    And her new beauty may thy heart invade. Dryden.

    Let us above all things possess our souls with awful apprehensions of the majesty and sovereignty of God. John Rogers.

    Alexander’s Grecian colonies in the Indies were almost exterminated by Sandrocottus; Seleucus recovered the sovereignty in some degree, but was forced to abandon to him the country along the Indus. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.


  1. sovereignty

    Sovereignty refers to the full right and power of a governing body or nation to govern itself without any interference from external bodies. This involves having independent authority over a geographic area, including the freedom to establish laws, regulate policies, and conduct diplomacy with other nations. It can also refer to a nation's ability to control its own affairs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sovereigntynoun

    the quality or state of being sovereign, or of being a sovereign; the exercise of, or right to exercise, supreme power; dominion; sway; supremacy; independence; also, that which is sovereign; a sovereign state; as, Italy was formerly divided into many sovereignties

  2. Etymology: [OE. soverainetee, OF. sovrainet, F. souverainet.]


  1. Sovereignty

    Sovereignty is the quality of having independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make laws that rests on a political fact for which no pure legal definition can be provided. In theoretical terms, the idea of "sovereignty", historically, from Socrates to Thomas Hobbes, has always necessitated a moral imperative on the entity exercising it. For centuries past, the idea that a state could be sovereign was always connected to its ability to guarantee the best interests of its own citizens. Thus, if a state could not act in the best interests of its own citizens, it could not be thought of as a “sovereign” state. The concept of sovereignty has been discussed throughout history, from the time of the Romans through to the present day. It has changed in its definition, concept, and application throughout, especially during the Age of Enlightenment. The current notion of state sovereignty contains four aspects consisting of territory, population, authority and recognition. According to Stephen D. Krasner, the term could also be understood in four different ways: ⁕domestic sovereignty – actual control over a state exercised by an authority organized within this state,

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sovereignty' in Nouns Frequency: #2679

How to pronounce sovereignty?

How to say sovereignty in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sovereignty in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sovereignty in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of sovereignty in a Sentence

  1. Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer:

    For years, I pleaded with the federal government to do their job and secure our border. Today, we can elect a President who will do just that -- Donald J. Trump, mr. Trump will secure our borders, defend our workers and protect our sovereignty. Mr. Trump will stand for our law enforcement, our police and our immigration officers. Mr. Trump will actually enforce the rule of law.

  2. David Schenker:

    It is not normal, this is unorthodox... a huge violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

  3. Antony Blinken:

    President Putin's war against Ukraine is also an attack on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, enshrined in the UN Charter. Ukraine is fighting valiantly to defend its people and its independence with unprecedented assistance from the United States and countries around the world. United States will continue to support the people of Ukraine while promoting accountability for President President Putin and those enabling Russian aggression.

  4. Marcos Breda:

    This is very similar to 1995. We're defending the same things, protesting privatization of the company, the need to protect Brazil's sovereignty, the need to maintain investment in Brazil.

  5. Pascal Canfin:

    We support CORSIA being a first step, a minimum at this stage, but we believe our sovereignty allows us to be more ambitious if we wish to be so, and this is something that all ICAO members should respect.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for sovereignty

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

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