What does liberal mean?

Definitions for liberal
ˈlɪb ər əl, ˈlɪb rəllib·er·al

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word liberal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. liberal, liberalist, progressivenoun

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

  2. liberaladjective

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

  3. broad, large-minded, liberal, tolerantadjective

    showing or characterized by broad-mindedness

    "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions"

  4. liberaladjective

    having political or social views favoring reform and progress

  5. liberaladjective

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

  6. big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, liberal, openhandedadjective

    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 and openhanded grandfather"

  7. free, loose, liberaladjective

    not literal

    "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem"

Wiktionary

  1. liberalnoun

    One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia on Liberalism for a description of the various and diverging trends of liberalism).

  2. liberalnoun

    A supporter of any of the particular liberal parties.

  3. liberalnoun

    One on the left-wing of the American political spectrum. Sometimes used pejoratively in political campaigns.

  4. liberalnoun

    A person who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, individual gun rights, laissez-faire markets, and the gold standard.

  5. liberaladjective

    Pertaining to those arts and sciences whose study was considered "worthy of a free man" (as opposed to servile, mechanical); worthy, befitting a gentleman.

    He had a full education studying the liberal arts.

  6. liberaladjective

    Generous, bountiful.

    He was liberal with his compliments.

  7. liberaladjective

    Generous in quantity, abundant.

    Add a liberal sprinkling of salt.

  8. liberaladjective

    Unrestrained, licentious.

  9. liberaladjective

    Widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions, conventions etc.; permissive.

    Her parents had liberal ideas about child-rearing.

  10. liberaladjective

    Open to political or social changes and reforms associated with either classical or modern liberalism.

  11. Liberaladjective

    Generous, in great amount, a large proportion

    He had a full education studying the liberal arts.

  12. Liberaladjective

    Of or relating to the Liberal party, its membership, or its platform, policy, or viewpoint.

    He had a full education studying the liberal arts.

  13. Liberalnoun

    A member or supporter of a Liberal Party

  14. Liberalnoun

    A member or supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, or its predecessors, or provincial equivalents, or their predecessors

  15. Liberalnoun

    A Liberal Democrat.

  16. Liberalnoun

    A Whig

  17. Etymology: From liberal, from liberalis, from liber.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Liberaladjective

    Etymology: liberalis, Latin; liberal. French.

    Her name was Mercy, well known over all
    To be both gracious and eke liberal. Edmund Spenser, Fa. Queen.

    Sparing would shew a worse sin than ill doctrine.
    Men of his way should be most liberal,
    They’re set here for examples. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Needs must the pow’r
    That made us, and for us this ample world,
    Be infinitely good, and of his good
    As liberal and free, as infinite. John Milton.

    There is no art better than to be liberal of praise and commendation to others, in that wherein a man’s self hath any perfection. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    The liberal are secure alone;
    For what we frankly give, for ever is our own. George Granville.

    Several clergymen, otherwise little fond of obscure terms, are, in their sermons, very liberal of all those which they find in ecclesiastical writers, as if it were our duty to understand them. Jonathan Swift.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Liberaladjective

    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

  2. Liberaladjective

    bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver

  3. Liberaladjective

    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

  4. Liberaladjective

    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. Liberaladjective

    not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic

  6. Liberaladjective

    free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious

  7. Liberaladjective

    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

  8. Liberalnoun

    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

Freebase

  1. Liberal

    Liberal is an unincorporated community in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. It lies on Oregon Route 213 between Mulino and Molalla. The community of Liberal grew up three miles south of Mulino on the south side of the Molalla River. The Liberal crossroads is located at the mutual corners of the donation land claims established in the 1840s by Harrison Wright, William Russell, W. D. Woodcock, James Barnard and Francis Jackson. As the original land claims began to be parceled out, the area was settled in the mid-19th century, primarily by Swiss and German families. According to local tradition, the community was named after the "liberal" credit practices of the founder of the Liberal Store. Liberal currently includes the historic Liberal Store, an active sawmill, a chicken feed mill, a multi-generational family farm, and the Evangelical Community Chapel, a church that has continuously held weekly meetings since its founding in 1900.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Liberal

    lib′ėr-al, adj. becoming a gentleman: generous: noble-minded: candid: free: free from restraint: general, extensive.—n. one who advocates greater freedom in political institutions.—n. Liberalisā′tion, the process of making liberal.—v.t. Lib′eralise, to make liberal, or enlightened: to enlarge.—ns. Lib′eralism, the principles of a Liberal in politics or religion; Liberal′ity, the quality of being liberal: generosity: largeness or nobleness of mind: candour: impartiality.—adv. Lib′erally.—v.t. Lib′erāte, to set free: to release from restraint, confinement, or bondage.—ns. Liberā′tion; Liberā′tionist, one who is in favour of church disestablishment; Lib′erātor, one who liberates or frees.—adj. Lib′erātory, tending to liberate.—Liberal Party, the name adopted by the Whigs (1830) to denote the body formed by their union with the Radicals; Liberal Unionist, one of that section of the Liberal Party which joined the Conservatives from inability to accede to Mr Gladstone's policy of giving Home Rule to Ireland (1886); German Liberals, a party in German politics, formed by the amalgamation of the Progressist party and the Liberal union, and advocating moderate liberalism in opposition to the policy of Prince Bismarck; National Liberals, a party in German politics which before 1871 advocated the completion of governmental unity in Germany, as well as supported progressive measures of reform. [Fr.,—L. liberalis, befitting a freeman—liber, free, akin to libet, lubet, it pleases.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Liberal

    The modern designation of the Progressive or “Whig” Party. This arose out of Lord Byron’s political magazine, The Liberal, in 1828, though the name was not formally assumed until the agitation for the Reform Bill in 1831.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'liberal' in Nouns Frequency: #2869

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'liberal' in Adjectives Frequency: #254

How to pronounce liberal?

How to say liberal in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of liberal in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of liberal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of liberal in a Sentence

  1. Chris Hartline:

    Democrats are losing, everywhere, because voters are rejecting their agenda that's causing inflation and crime to surge around the country, if they think they can count on their liberal donors to bail them out, they are sorely mistaken.

  2. Heywood Broun:

    A liberal is a man who leaves the room when the fight begins.

  3. Nick Clegg:

    For the first time ever, the Liberal Democrats go into this campaign with a record of action in government to be extremely proud of, we have kept the government in the center ground and shown that we are the only party that can build a stronger economy and a fairer society.

  4. Kurt Vonnegut:

    Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

  5. Carly Fiorina:

    The liberal media is once again showing that they will hide facts and mislead readers as long as it fits their narrative.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

liberal#1#4110#10000

Translations for liberal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for liberal »

Translation

Find a translation for the liberal definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Discuss these liberal definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Ethan Baker
    Ethan Baker
    How Does One Become A Liberal?
    LikeReplyReport6 years ago

Citation

Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"liberal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 5 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/liberal>.

Are we missing a good definition for liberal? Don't keep it to yourself...

Browse Definitions.net

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Quiz

Are you a words master?

»
standing above others in quality or position
  • A. eminent
  • B. defiant
  • C. arbitrary
  • D. unsealed

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for liberal: