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1. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate.
2. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed.
a. Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing.
b. Of or relating to a self-governing entity: an autonomous legislature.
c. Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.