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1. One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit, as:
a. A king, queen, or other noble person who serves as chief of state; a ruler or monarch.
b. A national governing council or committee.
2. A nation that governs territory outside its borders.
3. A gold coin formerly used in Great Britain.
1. Self-governing; independent: a sovereign state.
2. Having supreme rank or power: a sovereign prince.
3. Paramount; supreme: Her sovereign virtue is compassion.
a. Of superlative strength or efficacy: a sovereign remedy.
b. Unmitigated: sovereign contempt.
[Middle English soverain, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *superānus, from Latin super, above; see uper in Indo-European roots.]
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.