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From Middle English sovereynte, from Anglo-Norman sovereyneté, from Old French souveraineté, from soverain.



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
  2. Of a ruler: supreme authority over all things.
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 8, column 2:
      But Fortune, oh, / She is corrupted, chang’d, and wonne from thee, / Sh’adulterates hourely with thine Vnckle Iohn, / And with her golden hand hath pluckt on France / To tread downe faire reſpect of Soueraigntie, / And made his Maieſtie the bawd to theirs.
  3. Of a person: the liberty to decide one's thoughts and actions.