Definition of sovereignty in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsäv(ə)rən(t)ē/

noun (plural sovereignties)

1Supreme power or authority: how can we hope to wrest sovereignty away from the oligarchy and back to the people?
More example sentences
  • It was more than a legitimisation of sovereignty by Brahmanical ritual; it was an assertion of supreme sovereignty.
  • Here was the judicial reconciliation of Parliamentary sovereignty with the supremacy of EC law.
  • His life and his death taught all those that knew him of God's wisdom, grace, sovereignty and power.
jurisdiction, rule, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, suzerainty, hegemony, domination, authority, control, influence
1.1The authority of a state to govern itself or another state: national sovereignty
More example sentences
  • In 1657 Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, gained full sovereignty over the duchy.
  • The treaty grants Britain sovereignty over the sites in perpetuity.
  • Neither Spain nor Guatemala ever exercised effective sovereignty over the area.
autonomy, independence, self-government, self-rule, home rule, self-determination, freedom
1.2A self-governing state.
Example sentences
  • Is ‘confederation’ just another word for two independent sovereignties talking to each other to coordinate, where possible, policy objectives and implementation?
  • It was not the supersession of one or several sovereignties by a single sovereignty, but a division and sharing of sovereignty.
  • Fifteen sovereignties cannot a foreign or military policy make, even though, were they to federate into one sovereignty, they could exert power equal to that of the United States.


Late Middle English: from Old French sovereinete, from soverain (see sovereign).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sov·er·eign·ty

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