Definition of independent in English:


Line breaks: in|de¦pend|ent
Pronunciation: /ɪndɪˈpɛnd(ə)nt


  • 1Free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority: an independent nuclear deterrent the study is totally independent of central government
    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, individualistic, unconventional, maverick; free, liberated, bold, unconstrained, unrestrained, unfettered, untrammelled, unhampered; undisciplined, wild, wilful, headstrong, contrary
  • 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: an independent girls' school independent television
    More 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, public, non-state-controlled, non-state-run, non-public, private-sector, private-enterprise, fee-paying, commercial; privatized, denationalized
  • 1.4 (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-sustaining, self-reliant, self-standing, able to stand on one's own two feet; self-contained, self-made
    informal living on one's hump
  • 2.1(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.
  • 4Not connected with another or with each other; separate: treating each factory as an independent unit of production the legislature and the judicature are independent of one another
    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.
    unconnected, unrelated, unassociated, dissociated, unattached, separate
  • 4.1Not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; free-standing: 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.
  • 4.2 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.
    More 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.


Back to top  
  • 1An independent person or body: one of the few independents left in the music business
    More 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: he stood unsuccessfully as an independent in 1992
    More 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.
    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.

More definitions of independent

Definition of independent in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little