Copyright © 2015 Jason Romanenko

There are quite a few one word equivalents for this word, however we will begin with a few phrases which demonstrate the definition quite well. So firstly, as an adjective, to be independent is to not depend or rely on others and includes thinking or acting for oneself, being too self respecting to accept help, or to be completely self governing. Additionally it is to have or afford a comfortable livelihood without necessity of working or of help from others. Alternatively an independent most certainly belongs to the ‘independents’.

Furthermore this adjective can mean autonomous, free, self determining, non aligned, neutral, autarchic, or just free. Moreover a second meaning indicates free thinking and is considered as bold, liberated, individualistic, unconventional, unrestrained, untrammeled, unfettered, and unconstrained. So to be independent is also to be separate, unconnected, unrelated, unattached or distinct.

Related derivatives can also imply freedom from outside control, not subject to another’s authority and in respect of other countries is the state of self governance.

As for etymology, the Latin word dependere means to weigh up or to pay and in this case the prefix ‘in’ may denote progress towards this goal.

Breaking down the word further we would have three main syllables ; ‘in’ - ‘de’ - ‘pend’. So figuratively ‘pendere’ is to ponder value. In respect of time the ‘de’ could mean immediately after or it could denote reason (i.e. ‘because of’). There is also another variation of the ‘pend’ which also has significance. With an additional ‘e’ the Latin word ‘pende(o, ere)’ means to hang down and is believed to be related to the functional and traditional weighing scales such as the scales of justice.

The best modern usage of this word, apart from the technically irrelevant title of a newspaper with a particular kudos among Sunday readers, is illustrated below.

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