Definition of autonomous in English:

autonomous

adjective

  • 1(of a country or region) having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs.

    ‘the federation included sixteen autonomous republics’
    • ‘Farmers held protests last week in 11 of the country's autonomous regions, calling for compensation.’
    • ‘Soon it was in conflict with an autonomous republic in its territory, which it wanted to retain.’
    • ‘By contrast the perspective of creating a separate state or an autonomous region was geared to the requirements of the elite.’
    • ‘The autonomous region is now in the next stage of a grindingly long battle between tradition and modernity.’
    • ‘The process was designed, in Stalin's words, to produce republics and autonomous regions that were national in form, but socialist in content.’
    • ‘The arid land of this autonomous republic supports a nomadic lifestyle.’
    • ‘There is no autonomous indigenous community, independent of the state.’
    • ‘It resembles more a treaty between separate autonomous nation states than a real binding constitution for a single European state.’
    • ‘Federalism is a trickier concept in the European context because the Member States are not political subdivisions of the Union, but rather sovereign and autonomous entities.’
    • ‘There were seventeen of them - one minister from each of the seventeen autonomous regions.’
    • ‘The country is divided into twenty-three provinces, five autonomous regions, and four municipalities.’
    • ‘The Spanish government designated it as an autonomous region in 1985.’
    • ‘They have established an alternative system of government with autonomous regions, and district and village level authorities.’
    • ‘The Aland Islands are a self-governing autonomous part of Finland.’
    • ‘The State Council has stipulated that each province, municipality and autonomous region must report on traffic safety every quarter.’
    • ‘But those elections may not prevent the country effectively dividing into three autonomous regions.’
    1. 1.1 Having the freedom to act independently.
      ‘school governors are legally autonomous’
      • ‘He says that those organization do not have a tradition of operating as independent, autonomous entities.’
      • ‘Buffon was among the first to create an autonomous science, free of any theological influence.’
      • ‘It is an autonomous independent body and received its official recognition early in its existence, in 1958.’
      • ‘This is quite different from the traditional way in which children grow, become independent and autonomous.’
      • ‘The growth of independence is surely a part of becoming autonomous during adolescence, but autonomy means more than behaving independently.’
      • ‘There is no formal independence because the Central Bank is not formally autonomous, but there is a practical independence.’
      • ‘Will she need a smaller, more supportive environment or is she autonomous and independent enough to thrive on a big campus?’
      • ‘It is an independent inquiry run by an autonomous team.’
      • ‘We think that we determine our own fates, that we are free and autonomous individuals, when in fact we live in bubbles whose preconditions would scare us if we knew just how numerous they are.’
      • ‘Since independence, a new autonomous legal system has been developing.’
      • ‘This crisis has proved that high income is not synonymous with a civic society that is independent and autonomous.’
      • ‘The legislators must be made independent and autonomous.’
      • ‘An autonomous, independent press is still the most powerful bulwark of democracy.’
      • ‘The academics claim pupils who had been spoon-fed at independent schools were less able to cope with autonomous learning.’
      • ‘I just want to be alone, autonomous, independent, you know what I mean?’
      • ‘They are one of the most autonomous and independent of animals, which is why you don't find a wolf act at the circus.’
      • ‘I believe that a woman's right to choose gets to the very heart of what it means to be an autonomous, free human being.’
      • ‘The government should not force us to act in our own best interests but leave us free to make autonomous decisions about how to live our lives, with all the risks that involves.’
      • ‘The establishment of the University as an autonomous statutory body independent of Government is supported by many provisions in the University Act.’
      • ‘Yet the autonomous individual, gloriously independent in his decisionmaking, can easily seem to be a fantasy.’
      • ‘In a patriarchal society men fear independent autonomous women.’
      • ‘These things are now being used as AUVs, autonomous underwater vehicles.’
      self-governing, independent, sovereign, free, self-ruling, self-determining, autarchic
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (in Kantian moral philosophy) acting in accordance with one's moral duty rather than one's desires.
      Compare with heteronomous
      • ‘Kant now develops his conception of the autonomous agent.’
      • ‘If conforming documents are presented, the bank owes an autonomous duty to the beneficiary to make payment to it at the place designated for payment.’
      • ‘The obscurities of agent-causation are enough to prevent most philosophers from embracing this conception of autonomous agency.’
      • ‘Being free but not autonomous is a condition Kant called heteronomous.’
      • ‘If there is any scope for the will, Vernant notes, it is certainly not autonomous will in the Kantian sense, but a will bound by fear of divine powers, if not actually coerced by them.’
      • ‘The human subject, conceived as a unitary self capable of autonomous action and meaningful moral judgement, is one such fiction with which we have deceived ourselves.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from Greek autonomos ‘having its own laws’ + -ous.

Pronunciation

autonomous

/ɔːˈtɒnəməs/