• synonyms


  1. the condition of being under the domination of an outside authority, either human or divine.
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Origin of heteronomy

First recorded in 1815–25; hetero- + -nomy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heteronomy

Historical Examples of heteronomy

  • It is called autonomy of Will and is contrasted with heteronomy.

    Morals and the Evolution of Man

    Max Simon Nordau

  • This heterogeneous articulation (heteronomy) is the more pronounced the higher the whole organization.

    The Wonders of Life

    Ernst Haeckel

  • To make the judgements of others the determining grounds of his own would be heteronomy.

  • In contrast with the Legislative, the Executive power expresses the heteronomy of the nation in contrast with its autonomy.

Word Origin and History for heteronomy


1798, "subjection to the rule of another power," from hetero- + Greek nomos "law" (see numismatics). Related: Heteronomic; heteronomous.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper