[ in-di-pen-duhnt ]
See synonyms for: independentindependentsindependently 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.

  1. not influenced by the thought or action of others: independent research.

  2. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.

  3. not relying on another or others for aid or support.

  4. rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.

  5. possessing a competency: to be financially independent.

  6. sufficient to support a person without their having to work: an independent income.

  7. executed or originating outside a given unit, agency, business, etc.; external: an independent inquiry.

  8. working for oneself or for a small, privately owned business.

  9. expressive of a spirit of independence; self-confident; unconstrained: a free and independent citizen.

  10. free from party commitments in voting: the independent voter.

  11. Mathematics. (of a quantity or function) not depending upon another for its value.

  12. Grammar. capable of standing syntactically as a complete sentence: an independent clause.: Compare dependent (def. 4), main1 (def. 4).

  13. Logic.

    • (of a set of propositions) having no one proposition deducible from the others.

    • (of a proposition) belonging to such a set.

  14. (initial capital letter)Ecclesiastical. adhering or relating to Independency.

  1. an independent person or thing.

  2. a small, privately owned business: The conglomerates are buying up the independents.

  1. Politics. a person who votes for candidates, measures, etc., in accordance with their own judgment and without regard to the endorsement of, or the positions taken by, any party.

  2. (initial capital letter)Ecclesiastical. an adherent of Independency.

  3. British. a Congregationalist.

Idioms about independent

  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

Other words from independent

  • in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • non·in·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • non·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • pre·in·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • pre·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • pseu·do·in·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • pseu·do·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • qua·si-in·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • qua·si-in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • su·per·in·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • su·per·in·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use independent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for independent (1 of 2)


/ (ˌɪndɪˈpɛndənt) /

  1. free from control in action, judgment, etc; autonomous

  2. not dependent on anything else for function, validity, etc; separate: two independent units make up this sofa

  1. not reliant on the support, esp financial support, of others

  2. capable of acting for oneself or on one's own: a very independent little girl

  3. providing a large unearned sum towards one's support (esp in the phrases independent income, independent means)

  4. living on an unearned income

  5. maths (of a system of equations) not linearly dependent: See also independent variable

  6. statistics

    • (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

    • (of two or more events) such that the probability of all occurring equals the product of their individual probabilities: Compare statistical dependence

  7. logic (of a set of propositions)

    • not validly derivable from one another, so that if the propositions are the axioms of some theory none can be dispensed with

    • 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 forms of independent

  • independently, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for Independent (2 of 2)


/ (ˌɪndɪˈpɛndənt) /

  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