autonomy

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek αὐτονομία (autonomía), from αὐτόνομος (autónomos), from αὐτός (autós, self) + νόμος (nómos, law). Surface analysis auto- (self) +‎ -nomy (a system of rules or laws about a particular field).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Noun[edit]

autonomy (countable and uncountable, plural autonomies)

  1. Self-government; freedom to act or function independently.
    • 1951, Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia[1], Verso, published 2005, page 200:
      But while assiduously dismissing any though of its own autonomy and proclaiming its victims its judges, it outdoes, in its veiled autocracy, all the excesses of autonomous art.
  2. (philosophy) The capacity to make an informed, uncoerced decision.
  3. (mechanics) The capacity of a system to make a decision about its actions without the involvement of another system or operator.
  4. (Christianity) The status of a church whose highest-ranking bishop is appointed by the patriarch of the mother church, but which is self-governing in all other respects. Compare autocephaly.

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