Autonomous person


Senior Member
Colombia - Spanish
Would it be ok to say:
She is not an autonomous person. (meaning almost that she can not do anything by herself without help)
  • Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    According to OALD, "autonomous" has a sense of this:

    able to do things and make decisions without help from anyone else

    Teachers aim to help children become autonomous learners.

    But other dictionaries only show that "Autonomous" has something to do with government, biology rather than "being independent".

    I am wondering if this sense is still in use?


    American English
    Certainly, in pop psychology, and perhaps in pro psychology, "autonomous" is used in the sense you proposed in the OP. Rather than the psychological sense having fallen out of use, I suspect it is not in dictionaries because it is a newer extension of the word from political science that the dictionaries have not yet added.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In common speech I would say "dependent".

    Joan is highly dependent; she can't manage anything by herself.

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I believe Packard is referring to the opposite of autonomous, as the topic question is in regard to someone who is not autonomous. (Dependant is a noun, and I think we are discussing adjectives here.)


    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    So autonomous makes sense in my sample sentence to mean "independent", I can say she is an autonomous learner?
    < Previous | Next >