Definition of autonomy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɔːˈtɒnəmi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɔːˈtɑːnəmi//
    [uncountable] (formal)
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  1. 1the freedom for a country, a region or an organization to govern itself independently synonym independence a campaign in Wales for greater autonomy
  2. 2the ability to act and make decisions without being controlled by anyone else giving individuals greater autonomy in their own lives
  3. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Greek autonomia, from autonomos ‘having its own laws’, from autos ‘self’ + nomos ‘law’.Extra examples Head office is giving the regional offices more autonomy. Schools have gained greater autonomy from government control. The Act granted limited autonomy to the republics. The cantons and communes of Switzerland have preserved their autonomy. The subsidiary companies will now have more autonomy. a high degree of autonomy an individual’s right to exercise autonomy demands for cultural autonomy the need to increase worker autonomy One of the aims of modern nursing is to encourage patient autonomy. Swiss cantons still retain considerable political autonomy. There has been a campaign for greater autonomy for the region. There is pressure for some degree of autonomy from minorities in the north of the country. We need to preserve the professional autonomy of the scientific community.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: autonomy