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From Ancient Greek (autonomía), from (autónomos), from (autós, "self") + (nómos, "law"). Surface analysis auto- ("self") + -nomy ("a system of rules or laws about a particular field").
autonomy (countable and uncountable, plural autonomies)
- Self-government; freedom to act or function independently.
1951, Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia, 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.
- (philosophy) The capacity to make an informed, uncoerced decision.
- (mechanics) The capacity of a system to make a decision about its actions without the involvement of another system or operator.
- (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.
capacity for individual decision