that which is preeminent among all others; the King; the state.
EXAMPLE: A state wants to build a highway that requires the use of private property. Negotiations with the property owners fail to persuade them to sell to the state. The state can then use its sovereign power of eminent domain over all property within the state to take private property and put it to public use upon payment of just compensation.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016