[in-di-pen-duh nt]
See more synonyms for independent on
  1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.
  2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free: an independent businessman.
  3. not influenced by the thought or action of others: independent research.
  4. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.
  5. not relying on another or others for aid or support.
  6. rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.
  7. possessing a competency: to be financially independent.
  8. sufficient to support a person without his having to work: an independent income.
  9. executed or originating outside a given unit, agency, business, etc.; external: an independent inquiry.
  10. working for oneself or for a small, privately owned business.
  11. expressive of a spirit of independence; self-confident; unconstrained: a free and independent citizen.
  12. free from party commitments in voting: the independent voter.
  13. Mathematics. (of a quantity or function) not depending upon another for its value.
  14. Grammar. capable of standing syntactically as a complete sentence: an independent clause.Compare dependent(def 4), main1(def 4).
  15. Logic.
    1. (of a set of propositions) having no one proposition deducible from the others.
    2. (of a proposition) belonging to such a set.
  16. Statistics. statistically independent.
  17. (initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical. of or relating to the Independents.
  1. an independent person or thing.
  2. a small, privately owned business: The conglomerates are buying up the independents.
  3. Politics. a person who votes for candidates, measures, etc., in accordance with his or her own judgment and without regard to the endorsement of, or the positions taken by, any party.
  4. (initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical. an adherent of Independency.
  5. British. a Congregationalist.
  1. independent of, irrespective of; regardless of: Independent of monetary considerations, it was a promising position.

Origin of independent

First recorded in 1605–15; in-3 + dependent
Related formsin·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbnon·in·de·pend·ent, adjectivenon·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbpre·in·de·pend·ent, adjectivepre·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbpseu·do·in·de·pend·ent, adjectivepseu·do·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbqua·si-in·de·pend·ent, adjectivequa·si-in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbsu·per·in·de·pend·ent, adjectivesu·per·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for independent

Contemporary Examples of independent

Historical Examples of independent

British Dictionary definitions for independent


  1. free from control in action, judgment, etc; autonomous
  2. not dependent on anything else for function, validity, etc; separatetwo independent units make up this sofa
  3. not reliant on the support, esp financial support, of others
  4. capable of acting for oneself or on one's owna very independent little girl
  5. providing a large unearned sum towards one's support (esp in the phrases independent income, independent means)
  6. living on an unearned income
  7. maths (of a system of equations) not linearly dependentSee also independent variable
  8. statistics
    1. (of two or more variables) distributed so that the value taken by one variable will have no effect on that taken by another or others
    2. (of two or more events) such that the probability of all occurring equals the product of their individual probabilitiesCompare statistical dependence
  9. logic (of a set of propositions)
    1. not validly derivable from one another, so that if the propositions are the axioms of some theory none can be dispensed with
    2. not logically related, so that in no case can the truth value of one be inferred from those of the others
  1. an independent person or thing
  2. a person who is not affiliated to or who acts independently of a political party
Derived Formsindependently, adverb


  1. (in England) a member of the Congregational Church
  1. of or relating to Independency
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 independent

1610s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + dependent. French independant is attested from c.1600; Italian independente from 1590s. Noun meaning "person not acting as part of a political party" is from 1808. Related: Independently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper