1. Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent: an autonomous judiciary; an autonomous division of a corporate conglomerate.
2. Independent in mind or judgment; self-directed.
a. Independent of the laws of another state or government; self-governing.
b. Of or relating to a self-governing entity: an autonomous legislature.
c. Self-governing with respect to local or internal affairs: an autonomous region of a country.
[From Greek autonomos : auto-, auto- + nomos, law; see nem- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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