independent (adj.)

1610s, "not dependent on something else," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + dependent. French independant is attested from c. 1600; Italian independente from 1590s. In English originally of churches, nations; in reference to persons from 1660s. Meaning "able to live well without labor" is from 1732. Meaning "unbiased, set up so as to be unaffected by outside influence" is from 1790. Related: Independently.

As a noun, from 1640s as "member of an independent congregational church, English Congregationalist." It is attested from 1670s as "one who acts according to his own will" and 1808 in the specific sense "person not acting as part of a political party."

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Definitions of independent from WordNet
independent (adj.)
(of a clause) capable of standing syntactically alone as a complete sentence;
the main (or independent) clause in a complex sentence has at least a subject and a verb
Synonyms: main
independent (adj.)
free from external control and constraint;
fiercely independent individualism
an independent mind
a series of independent judgments
independent (adj.)
(of political bodies) not controlled by outside forces;
Synonyms: autonomous / self-governing / sovereign
independent (adj.)
not controlled by a party or interest group;
independent (n.)
a neutral or uncommitted person (especially in politics);
Synonyms: mugwump / fencesitter
independent (n.)
a writer or artist who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them;
Synonyms: freelancer / freelance / free-lance / free lance / self-employed person