Word of the Day


Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


freedom from control by another country or organization

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun independence comes from the adjective ‘independent’ with the addition of the suffix -ence. It was first used in English in the 17th century.


Tomorrow, July 4, is Independence Day, the day on which the US celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Independence Day is also called The Fourth of July and it is a public holiday that in normal times is celebrated with parades and firework displays. The Declaration followed the American war of Independence, which was sparked by, among other things, The Boston Tea Party, a protest held in 1773 in Boston, Massachusetts, when a group called The Sons of Liberty threw boxes of tea from British ships into the sea to symbolize their refusal to pay tax on the tea to the British government. Independence is a tricky word to spell, with those four e’s, leading some to put an ‘a’ in there instead.


Independence is a heady draught, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.
(Maya Angelou)

We must have constantly present in our minds the difference between independence and liberty. Liberty is a right of doing whatever the laws permit, and if a citizen could do what they forbid he would no longer be possessed of liberty.

Related words

freedom, autonomy, liberty

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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