• (RP) IPA: /ˈsɒv.ɹɪn/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈsɑv(ə)ɹɪn/


  1. Exercising power of rule.
    sovereign nation
  2. Exceptional in quality.
    Her voice was her sovereign talent.
  3. (now rare) Extremely potent or effective (of a medicine, remedy etc.).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.v:
      The soueraigne weede betwixt two marbles plaine / She pownded small, and did in peeces bruze, / And then atweene her lilly handes twaine, / Into his wound the iuyce thereof did scruze […]
    • Dryden
      a sovereign remedy
    • South
      Such a sovereign influence has this passion upon the regulation of the lives and actions of men.
  4. Having supreme, ultimate power.
  5. Princely; royal.
    • c1610, Shakespeare, A Winters Tale, V.i:
      You pity not the state, nor the remembrance of his most sovereign name.
  6. Predominant; greatest; utmost; paramount.
    • Hooker
      We acknowledge him [God] our sovereign good.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun

sovereign (plural sovereigns)

  1. A monarch; the ruler of a country.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Lvcrece (First Quarto)‎, London: Printed by Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, […], OCLC 236076664 ↗:
      The petty ſtreames that paie a dailie debt#English|det / To their ſalt ſoveraigne with their freſh falls#English|fals haste#English|haſt, / Adde to his flowe, but alter not his taſt.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book I”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗, lines 242-249:
      Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime, / Said then the lost Archangel, this the seat / That we must change for Heaven?, this mournful gloom / For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee / Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid / What shall be right : fardest from him is best / Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream / Above his equals. {{...}
    • No question is to be made but that the bed of the Mississippi belongs to the sovereign, that is, to the nation.
  2. One who is not a subject to a ruler or nation.
  3. A gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling but in practice used as a bullion coin.
  4. A very large champagne bottle with the capacity of about 25 liters, equivalent to 33⅓ standard bottles.
  5. Any butterfly of the tribe Nymphalini, or genus Basilarchia, as the ursula and the viceroy.
  6. (UK, slang) A large, garish ring; a sovereign ring.
    • 2004, December 11, "Birkenhead, Merseyside" BBC Voices recording ↗ (0:06:52)
      No, someone who wears loads of sovereigns as well loads of gold and has uh a curly perm and peroxide blonde hair, orange, orange sunbed skin and a fringe like this blow-dried to death, that’s a ‘scally’.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

sovereign (sovereigns, present participle sovereigning; past and past participle sovereigned)

  1. (transitive) To rule over as a sovereign.

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