Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of sovereign
Meaning of sovereign by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Old French soverain, from Vulgar Latin root *superānus ( cf. Italian sovrano, Spanish soberano ) from Latin super ( “above” ). Spelling influenced by folk-etymology association with reign .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈsɒv.rɪn/


    sovereign ( comparative more sovereign, superlative most sovereign )

    1. Exercising power of rule .
      sovereign nation
    2. Exceptional in quality .
    3. ( now rare ) Extremely potent or effective ( of a medicine, remedy etc. ).
    4. Having supreme, ultimate power .

    Derived terms


    sovereign ( plural: sovereigns )

    1. A monarch; the ruler of a country .
    2. One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation .
    3. A gold coin minted by the United Kingdom .
    4. A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to 33⅓ standard bottles .


    Derived terms

    See also

    • half sovereign/half-sovereign

Explanation of sovereign by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. greatest in status or authority or power

    2. ( of political bodies ) not controlled by outside forces

    3. a sovereign state
    1. a nation's ruler or head of state usually by hereditary right

    Definition of sovereign by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Sovereign ( ? or ?; 277 ), a. [OE. soverain, sovereyn, OF. soverain, suvrain, F. souverain, LL. superanus, fr. L. superus that is above, upper, higher, fr. super above. See Over, Super, and cf. Soprano. The modern spelling is due to a supposed connection with reign.]
      1. Supreme or highest in power; superior to all others; chief; as, “our sovereign prince”.

      2. Independent of, and unlimited by, any other; possessing, or entitled to, original authority or jurisdiction; as, “a sovereign state; a sovereign discretion”.

      3. Princely; royal. “Most sovereign name.” Shak.

      At Babylon was his sovereign see. Chaucer.

      4. Predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount.

      We acknowledge him [God] our sovereign good. Hooker.

      5. Efficacious in the highest degree; effectual; controlling; as, “a sovereign remedy”. Dryden.

      Such a sovereign influence has this passion upon the regulation of the lives and actions of men. South.

      Sovereign state, a state which administers its own government, and is not dependent upon, or subject to, another power.

    2. Sovereign ( ? or ?; 277 ), n.
      1. The person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; especially, in a monarchy, a king, queen, or emperor.

      No question is to be made but that the bed of the Mississippi belongs to the sovereign, that is, to the nation. Jefferson.

      2. A gold coin of Great Britain, on which an effigy of the head of the reigning king or queen is stamped, valued at one pound sterling, or about $4.86.

      3. ( Zool. ) Any butterfly of the tribe Nymphalidi, or genus Basilarchia, as the ursula and the viceroy.

      Syn. -- King; prince; monarch; potentate; emperor.