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definitions - liberal

liberal (adj.)

1.more than enough in size or scope or capacity"had ample food for the party" "an ample supply"

2.showing or characterized by broad-mindedness"a broad political stance" "generous and broad sympathies" "a liberal newspaper" "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"

3.tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition

4.not literal"a loose interpretation of what she had been told" "a free translation of the poem"

5.given or giving freely"was a big tipper" "the bounteous goodness of God" "bountiful compliments" "a freehanded host" "a handsome allowance" "Saturday's child is loving and giving" "a liberal backer of the arts" "a munificent gift" "her fond..."

6.having political or social views favoring reform and progress

liberal (n.)

1.a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties

2.a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets

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Merriam Webster

LiberalLib"er*al (lĭb"ẽr*�l), a. [F. libéral, L. liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf. Deliver.]
1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies.Liberal education.” Macaulay. “ A liberal tongue.” Shak.

2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.Liberal of praise.” Bacon.

Infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite.

3. Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.

His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower. Shak.

4. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.

5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.

6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious. “ Most like a liberal villain.” Shak.

7. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party.

I confess I see nothing liberal in this “ order of thoughts,” as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it. Hazlitt.

Liberal has of, sometimes with, before the thing bestowed, in before a word signifying action, and to before a person or object on which anything is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal with money; liberal in giving; liberal to the poor.

The liberal arts. See under Art. -- Liberal education, education that enlarges and disciplines the mind and makes it master of its own powers, irrespective of the particular business or profession one may follow.

Syn. -- Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free. -- Liberal, Generous. Liberal is freeborn, and generous is highborn. The former is opposed to the ordinary feelings of a servile state, and implies largeness of spirit in giving, judging, acting, etc. The latter expresses that nobleness of soul which is peculiarly appropriate to those of high rank, -- a spirit that goes out of self, and finds its enjoyment in consulting the feelings and happiness of others. Generosity is measured by the extent of the sacrifices it makes; liberality, by the warmth of feeling which it manifests.

LiberalLib"er*al, n. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. Whig.

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synonyms - liberal

see also - liberal


analogical dictionary

liberal (adj.)


bonté (fr)[Thème]

liberal (adj.)


liberal (adj.)


liberal (adj.)

Wikipedia - see also




Liberal may refer to:



  • Liberalism, a political ideology or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality
    • Classical liberalism, the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets
    • Conservative liberalism, a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, representing the right-wing of the liberal movement
    • Economic liberalism, the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes
    • Social liberalism, the belief that liberalism should include social justice



  • In Belgium, the political denomination "liberal" is used as a misnomer, as it actually refers to a conservative ideology. Hence "liberal" parties in Belgium are actually conservative parties, as opposed to socialist parties. Their typical logo colors are indeed blue, the identifying international color for conservatism.


  United Kingdom

"Liberal" in the United Kingdom is customarily used to describe political beliefs in the classical liberal tradition of the old Liberal Party, rooted in a belief in freedom of the individual. It is also used as a short hand to describe policies of the modern Liberal Democrats.

  United States

  Other uses in politics

  • Liberal democracy, a form of government based on limited majority rule
  • Liberal Democratic Party (disambiguation), a common name for political parties around the globe
  • Liberal Party, a list of parties worldwide using this common name. In a classical sense, a government or political party associated with ideals of high individual freedom.
  • Liberalism in Russia, . It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, namely those that have had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in the scheme. The listed parties didn't necessarily label themselves as liberal
  • Liberalism worldwide, liberal parties around the world


  • Laissez-faire, an economic environment in which transactions between private parties are free from tariffs, government subsidies, and enforced monopolies, with only enough government regulations sufficient to protect property rights against theft and aggression
  • Neoliberalism, a contemporary free-market political-economic philosophy
  • Ordoliberalism, a German variant of neoliberalism that emphasises the need for the state to ensure that the free market produces results close to its theoretical potential


  United States

  Other uses

  See also



All translations of liberal

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