Definition of independent in English:


Syllabification: in·de·pend·ent
Pronunciation: /ˌindəˈpendənt


  • 1Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority: the study is totally independent of central government Canada’s largest independent investment firm
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    • Outside controls or independent reviews could have provided such safeguards.
    • There is an area that remains more or less independent of the control of the government.
    • These agencies were entrusted with independent legislative authority on a federal level.
    freethinking, free, individualistic; unconventional, maverick, bold, unconstrained, unfettered, untrammeled
  • 1.1(Of a country) self-governing: India became independent in 1947
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    • The six-country tour will also underpin the fact that the island is a sovereign, independent country, he said.
    • Bangladesh later separated from Pakistan and East Timor which at the time was a Portuguese colony but is now an independent country.
    • If New Zealand is to develop as a fully independent country we must give all our people equal access to justice, and not just a privileged few.
    self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining, sovereign, autonomous, free, nonaligned
  • 1.2Not belonging to or supported by a political party: the independent candidate
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    • When the matter went to Parliament, all political parties supported an independent Complaints Commission.
    • Support for independent candidates and smaller parties has also risen, but in the locals rather than the Euro elections.
    • The few independent candidates with political potential are quickly recruited by the parties.
  • 1.3(Of broadcasting, a school, etc.) not supported by public funds.
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    • Academies are independent schools funded by public money.
    • The bill would have introduced a public benefit test for independent schools ensuring they prove they offer a benefit to the public and not just fee-payers.
    • The Department for Education and Skills said no formal approach had been made by the schools, but it was not government policy to fund independent schools.
    private, private-sector, non-state-run, fee-paying; privatized, denationalized
  • 1.4Not influenced or affected by others; impartial: a thorough and independent investigation of the case
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    • He said the matter deserves an impartial, independent investigation.
    • The European Convention on Human Rights demands a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal.
    • Under such circumstances, how can one ensure a fair and independent investigation?
  • 1.5 (Independent) historical Congregational.
  • 2Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence: I wanted to remain independent in old age
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    • Neddy was a very independent person who lived life quietly in Ballingarry.
    • It's hard to go from a very, independent woman to depending on others.
    • You think of yourself as independent, you want to be independent, but you depend on Alex more than anyone.
    self-sufficient, self-supporting, self-reliant, standing on one's own two feet
  • 2.1Capable of thinking or acting for oneself: advice for independent travelers
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    • Will there be future developments that will once again force us to review the age at which we see a foetus as a human capable of independent survival?
    • A toy capable of totally independent thought would be way too freaky.
    • This had meant that Chris was very independent and more than capable of fending for himself on his own.
  • 2.2(Of income or resources) making it unnecessary to earn one’s living: a woman of independent means
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    • From about the early 1880s he had independent income and so he devoted himself to the problem of flight.
  • 3Not connected with another or with each other; separate: we need two independent witnesses to testify the legislature and the judicature are independent of each other
    More example sentences
    • Sponge cells perform a variety of bodily functions and appear to be more independent of each other than are the cells of other animals.
    • If the value of an element is independent of the presence of another element, both elements are said to be independent from each other.
    • The different functions can often be assigned to conserved amino acid motifs which are separated into independent structural units.
  • 3.1Not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; freestanding: an independent electric shower
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    • Unknown is whether speed and accuracy are really independent measures of strategy effectiveness in computational estimation.
    • If treatment effects are independent the relative risk with two or more treatments is the product of the relative risk on each treatment.
    • The multiplier of the hazard rate is the independent multiplicative effect of a variable on what a rate would have been otherwise.
  • 3.2 Mathematics (Of one of a set of axioms, equations, or quantities) incapable of being expressed in terms of, or derived or deduced from, the others.
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    • We used a parameterization process to reduce these parameters to 36 independent ones.
    • However he also showed that linear sentence systems do have independent axiom systems.
    • Ideally, the inverse problem consists of N independent linear equations.


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  • 1An independent person or body.
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    • In fact, most were published by university presses, the federal government or small independents.
    • Hunter claims most of the real talent in Scotland is to be found in the small independents started by people fed up with big company culture.
    • In turn, competition has forced the independents to upgrade quality and comfort.
  • 1.1An independent political candidate, voter, etc..
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    • The ten presidential candidates, including independents, were listed in two columns.
    • At that time the ruling party captured 193 seats, though many of these candidates ran as independents.
    • In 1935, she retired from teaching to stand for Parliament as an independent.
  • 1.2 (Independent) historical A Congregationalist.
    More example sentences
    • They were part of English nonconformity which included Independents and Quakers.
    • On another side were the Independents, who wanted to do away with the Anglican Church altogether.
    • The radicals wanted it all - these were the Independents and Oliver Cromwell was emerging as their leader.


early 17th century (as an adjective): partly on the pattern of French indépendant.

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