Last modified on 1 July 2014, at 11:52

sovereign

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Old French soverain (whence also modern French souverain), from Vulgar Latin root *superānus (compare Italian sovrano, Spanish soberano) from Latin super (above). Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign. See also suzerain.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

sovereign (comparative more sovereign, superlative most sovereign)

  1. Exercising power of rule.
    sovereign nation
  2. Exceptional in quality.
  3. (now rare) Extremely potent or effective (of a medicine, remedy etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.v:
      The soueraigne weede betwixt two marbles plaine / She pownded small, and did in peeces bruze, / And then atweene her lilly handes twaine, / Into his wound the iuyce thereof did scruze []
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      a sovereign remedy
    • (Can we date this quote?) South
      Such a sovereign influence has this passion upon the regulation of the lives and actions of men.
  4. Having supreme, ultimate power.
  5. Princely; royal.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      most sovereign name
  6. Predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Hooker
      We acknowledge him [God] our sovereign good.

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NounEdit

sovereign (plural sovereigns)

  1. A monarch; the ruler of a country.
    • Jefferson
      No question is to be made but that the bed of the Mississippi belongs to the sovereign, that is, to the nation.
  2. One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation.
  3. A gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling but in practice used as a bullion coin.
  4. A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to 33⅓ standard bottles.
  5. Any butterfly of the tribe Nymphalini, or genus Basilarchia, as the ursula and the viceroy.

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