Autonomous – Definition & Meaning

The term autonomous is commonly heard in various fields such as technology, politics, and science. It is a word that has become increasingly important in the modern world as we continue to develop new technologies and ways of doing things. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of autonomous, its origin, and how it is used in different contexts.


Autonomous is an adjective that describes something that is self-governing or self-regulating. It is used to describe a system, organization, or entity that operates independently and without external control. Autonomous can also refer to an individual who is self-directed and able to make decisions independently.


The word autonomous comes from the Greek word “autonomos,” which means “having its own laws.” The term was first used in the early 19th century, and it has since become a commonly used word in many languages.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, autonomous means “having the right or power of self-government” or “existing or capable of existing independently.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “having the freedom to act independently” or “self-governing.”


Autonomous is often associated with technology, particularly in the context of self-driving cars and drones. It is also used in politics to describe regions or territories that have some degree of self-governance or independence.


Some synonyms of autonomous include self-governing, independent, self-ruling, self-regulating, and self-determining.


Antonyms of autonomous include dependent, controlled, subservient, and subject to external control.

The same root words

The same root words as autonomous include autonomy, which refers to the right or condition of self-government, and autonomic, which describes the automatic or involuntary functions of the body.

Example Sentences

  1. The autonomous car drove itself to the destination without any human intervention.
  2. The region is autonomous and has its own laws and government.
  3. The company has an autonomous team that is responsible for making decisions independently.
  4. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions such as breathing and heart rate.
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