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From Middle English sovereynte, from Anglo-Norman sovereyneté, from Old French souveraineté, from soverain. Equivalent to sovereign +‎ -ty.



sovereignty (countable and uncountable, plural sovereignties)

  1. Of a polity: the state of making laws and controlling resources without the coercion of other nations.
    Synonyms: autarchy, independence, nationality, nationhood
    • 1981, Anouar Abdel-Malek, Social Dialectics: Nation and Revolution, page 13:
      On the other hand, the nationalitarian phenomenon is one in which the struggle against the imperialist powers of occupation has as its object, beyond the clearing of the national territory, the independence and sovereignty of the national State, uprooting in depth the positions of the ex-colonial power— the reconquest of the power of decision in all domains of national life, the prelude to that reconquest of identity which is at the heart of the renaissance undertaken on the basis of fundamental national demands, and ceaselessly contested, by every means available, on every level, and notably on the internal level'.
    • 2019, Manuel Valls, What have Britain and Catalonia got in common? Delusions of independence in the Guardian
      In today’s interconnected economies and societies, a formal independence is the opposite of gaining real sovereignty and control. This is because the excluded party would be absent from the table when decisions are made, unable to participate as choices are taken that, sooner or later, will affect them.
  2. Of a ruler: supreme authority over all things.
  3. Of a person: the liberty to decide one's thoughts and actions.
  4. Excellence, mastery, preeminent efficacy.
  5. An independent or sovereign territory.