Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “independent”


adjective    /ˌɪn·dɪˈpen·dənt/
not influenced or controlled by other people but free to make your own decisions : an independent thinker Congress called for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the president . Now that Jean’s got a job , she’s financially independent (= she does not need money from other people ). social studies If a country becomes independent, it is no longer governed or ruled by another country . independent contractor An independent contractor is a person who agrees to do a particular job for someone else for an agreed amount of money but who is not an employee : She used to be on staff , but now she’s an independent contractor . independently    /ˌɪn·dɪˈpen·dənt·li/ adverb The telephone was actually invented independently by two different people at almost the same time .
(Definition of independent adjective from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of independent

More American English definitions for “independent”

Definitions of “independent” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More