Skip to main content
Select Source:

sovereign

sov·er·eign / ˈsäv(ə)rən/ • n. 1. a supreme ruler, esp. a monarch. 2. a former British gold coin worth one pound sterling, now only minted for commemorative purposes. • adj. possessing supreme or ultimate power: in modern democracies the people's will is in theory sovereign. ∎  (of a nation or state) fully independent and determining its own affairs: a sovereign, democratic republic. ∎  (of affairs) subject to a specified state's control without outside interference: criticism was seen as interference in China's sovereign affairs. ∎  archaic or poetic/lit. possessing royal power and status: our most sovereign lord the King. ∎  dated very good or effective: a sovereign remedy for all ills. DERIVATIVES: sov·er·eign·ly adv.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"sovereign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"sovereign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-1

"sovereign." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-1

sovereign

sovereign a supreme ruler, especially a monarch; in early use, applied to God in relation to created things.

From the early 16th century, sovereign also denoted a gold coin, originally, one minted in England from the time of Henry VII to Charles I and at first of the value of 22s. 6d.; later, a British coin worth one pound sterling, now only minted for commemorative purposes.

The word is recorded from Middle English and comes from Old French soverain, based on Latin super ‘above’; the change in ending was due to association with reign.
the sovereign good the greatest good, especially that of a state or its people; the phrase is recorded from Middle English.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"sovereign." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"sovereign." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign

"sovereign." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign

sovereign

sovereign (supreme) ruler XIII; English gold coin of 20 shillings value XVI. ME. soverein — OF. so(u)verain, -ein (mod. souverain) :- Rom. *superānus, f. super above.
Also adj. supreme, paramount. XIV. So sovereignty (-TY2) XIV. — OF. so(u)vereinete (mod. souveraineté).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"sovereign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"sovereign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-2

"sovereign." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-2

sovereign

sovereign •tannin •antivenin, Lenin •Kalinin • linen • bedlinen •underlinen • feminine •Cronin, phone-in, ronin, serotonin •Bakunin • run-in • melanin • santonin •crankpin • backspin • hatpin •tenpin • hairpin • tailspin • wheelspin •Crippen, pippin •stickpin • kingpin • Crispin • linchpin •tiepin • topspin • clothespin •lupin, lupine •pushpin • terrapin • Turpin • Karin •chagrin • aspirin • Catrin • Kathryn •Gagarin •Erin, Perrin, serin •Sanhedrin • epinephrine • dextrin •brethren • Montenegrin • pyrethrin •peregrine •Corin, florin, foreign •doctrine • sovereign • Aldrin •Paludrine • murrain •Kirin, stearin •Lohengrin •burin, urine •tambourin • mandarin • warfarin •saccharin, saccharine •tamarin • Catherine •navarin, savarin •culverin • Mazarin

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"sovereign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"sovereign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-0

"sovereign." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sovereign-0