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

Definition of independent in English:


1Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority: the study is totally independent of central government Canada’s largest independent investment firm
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.2Not belonging to or supported by a political party: the independent candidate
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
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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