• synonyms


[aw-ton-uh-miz-uh m]
  1. the belief in or a movement toward autonomy.
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Origin of autonomism

First recorded in 1870–75; autonom(y) + -ism
Related formsau·ton·o·mist, adjective, noun


noun, plural au·ton·o·mies.
  1. independence or freedom, as of the will or one's actions: the autonomy of the individual.
  2. the condition of being autonomous; self-government or the right of self-government: The rebels demanded autonomy from Spain.
  3. a self-governing community.
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Origin of autonomy

1615–25; < Greek autonomía independence, equivalent to autónom(os) autonomous + -ia -y3
Related formsau·ton·o·mist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for autonomist

Historical Examples

  • In the face of these circumstances, Blanco organized his Autonomist Cabinet.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 4

    Willis Fletcher Johnson

  • But in their vocabulary it is almost synonymous with autonomist.

  • For some years he was a leader of the Autonomist party, but later identified himself actively with the cause of independence.

    The History of Cuba, vol. 3

    Willis Fletcher Johnson

  • Out of the eighty-six communes of Dalmatia, Zadar was the solitary one that was Autonomist.

  • Velasco's secretary was an educated Buenos Airean, a liberal, and an autonomist.

British Dictionary definitions for autonomist


noun plural -mies
  1. the right or state of self-government, esp when limited
  2. a state, community, or individual possessing autonomy
  3. freedom to determine one's own actions, behaviour, etc
  4. philosophy
    1. the doctrine that the individual human will is or ought to be governed only by its own principles and lawsSee also categorical imperative
    2. the state in which one's actions are autonomous
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Derived Formsautonomist, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Greek autonomia freedom to live by one's own laws; see autonomous
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for autonomist



1620s, of states, from Greek autonomia "independence," noun of quality from autonomos "independent, living by one's own laws," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + nomos "custom, law" (see numismatics). Of persons, from 1803.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper