from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state.
- n. Royal rank, authority, or power.
- n. Complete independence and self-government.
- n. A territory existing as an independent state.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The state of making laws and controlling resources without the coercion of other nations.
- n. Supreme authority over all things.
- n. The liberty to decide one's thoughts and actions.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The quality or state of being sovereign, or of being a sovereign; the exercise of, or right to exercise, supreme power; dominion; sway; supremacy; independence; also, that which is sovereign; a sovereign state.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state or character of being sovereign or a sovereign.
- n. Specifically—(a ) Mastery; control; predominance.
- n. The rule or sway of a monarch; royal or imperial power.
- n. Supremacy or dominion; hegemony: applied to the relation between a powerful state and other states or regions: as, Rome's sovereignty over the East; Great Britain holds the sovereignty of the seas. The supreme, absolute, uncontrollable power by which any state is governed (Cooley); the political authority, whether vested in a single individual or in a number of individuals, to order and direct what is to be done by each individual in relation to the end and object of the state (Halleck). It is essential to the modern conception of sovereignty that it should be exclusive of any other human superior authority, should be wielded by a determinate person or organization of persons, and should be on the whole habitually obeyed by the bulk of the community. Thus, in the United States, sovereignty is vested in the body of adult male citizens. The claim that each State—that is, the adult male free citizens of each State—possessed a separate sovereignty was one of the elements of controversy involved in the civil war.
- n. A state, community, or political unit possessing independent power.
- n. (f ) Supremacy in excellence; supreme excellence.
- n. Efficacy; especially, medicinal efficacy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. royal authority; the dominion of a monarch
- n. government free from external control
- n. the authority of a state to govern another state
From Old French soverain, from Vulgar Latin root *superānus (cf. Italian sovrano, Spanish soberano) from Latin super ("above"). Plus the Latinate English suffix -ty. Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign. (Wiktionary)