Sovereignty can describe the power of one state or thing over another or the freedom a state or thing has to control itself.

Look closely at the word sovereignty, and you will see it is all about who reigns, or rules. Although sovereignty is usually used in a political sense — particularly the power of nations, it can be used to describe personal control as well: If your mother insists upon your wearing wool hats in summertime, you might declare complete sovereignty over your wardrobe. The word is also occasionally used for the power of royalty, like a queen.

Definitions of sovereignty

n the authority of a state to govern another state

Type of:
authorisation, authority, authorization, dominance, potency, say-so
the power or right to give orders or make decisions

n royal authority; the dominion of a monarch

scepter, sceptre
the imperial authority symbolized by a scepter
Type of:
dominion, rule
dominance or power through legal authority

n government free from external control

Type of:
self-determination, self-government, self-rule
government of a political unit by its own people

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.