Definition of Liberal

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

Exact synonyms: Liberalist, Progressive
Generic synonyms: Adult, Grownup
Specialized synonyms: Armchair Liberal, Latitudinarian, Neoliberal, Pluralist, Whig
Antonyms: Conservative
Derivative terms: Progressive, Progressive

2. Adjective. Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness. "Tolerant of his opponent's opinions"
Exact synonyms: Broad, Large-minded, Tolerant
Similar to: Broad-minded
Derivative terms: Liberalness, Tolerate

3. Noun. A person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets.
Generic synonyms: Adult, Grownup

4. Adjective. Having political or social views favoring reform and progress.
Similar to: Left
Derivative terms: Liberality, Liberalness

5. Adjective. Tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition.

6. Adjective. Given or giving freely. "Her fond and openhanded grandfather"

7. Adjective. Not literal. "A free translation of the poem"
Exact synonyms: Free, Loose
Similar to: Inexact
Derivative terms: Looseness

Definition of Liberal

1. a. 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. 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.

Definition of Liberal

1. Proper noun. (politics) A member or supporter of a Liberal Party ¹

2. Proper noun. (Canada) A member or supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, or its predecessors, or provincial equivalents, or their predecessors ¹

3. Proper noun. (British) A Liberal Democrat. ¹

4. Proper noun. (British dated) A Whig ¹

5. Adjective. Of or relating to the Liberal party, its membership, or its platform, policy, or viewpoint. ¹

6. Adjective. Generous, in great amount, a large proportion ¹

7. Adjective. (context: now rare except in phrases) Pertaining to those arts and sciences whose study was considered "worthy of a free man" (as opposed to (term servile), (term mechanical)); worthy, befitting a gentleman. ¹

8. Adjective. Generous, bountiful. ¹

9. Adjective. Generous in quantity, abundant. ¹

10. Adjective. (obsolete) Unrestrained, licentious. ¹

11. Adjective. Widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions, conventions etc.; permissive. ¹

12. Adjective. (politics) Open to political or social changes and reforms associated with either classical or modern liberalism. ¹

13. Noun. One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia on Liberalism for a description of the various and diverging trends of liberalism). ¹

14. Noun. A supporter of any of the particular liberal parties. ¹

15. Noun. (American English) One on the left-wing of the American political spectrum. Sometimes used pejoratively in political campaigns. ¹

16. Noun. (qualifier US Also 'classical liberal', akin to libertarian) A person who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, individual gun rights, laissez-faire markets, and the gold standard. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Liberal

1. a person favorable to progress or reform [n -S]

Medical Definition of Liberal

1. 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." . " A liberal tongue." 2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver. " Liberal of praise." "Infinitely good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite." (Milton) 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." 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 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. Synonym: 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. Origin: F. Liberal, L. Liberalis, from liber free; perh. Akin to libet, lubet,it pleases, E. Lief. Cf. Deliver. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Liberal Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Liberal

liber amicorum
liberal (current term)
liberal arts
liberal education
liberal profession
liberal religions

Literary usage of Liberal

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Cambridge Modern History by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton Acton, Adolphus William Ward, George Walter Prothero, Ernest Alfred Benians (1909)
"Thus by the study of the liberal Reform doctrines, combined with the ... The exact moment of his election was unpropitious to the ideas of liberal Reform; ..."

2. The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1918)
"Against the proposal to allow the liberal studies which most closely underlie the professions, it is argued that this is a half-way measure, after all. ..."

3. History of Philosophy by Alfred Weber (1904)
"... which their opposition largely assists in overthrowing. ยง 45. Aristotle versus Aristotle, or the liberal Peripatetics. Stoics. Epicureans. ..."

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