see also: Liberal
  • (British) enPR: lĭ'brəl, IPA: /ˈlɪbɹəl/
  • (America) enPR: lĭ'bərəl, IPA: /ˈlɪbəɹəl/


  1. (now, rare, outside, set phrases) Pertaining to those arts and sciences the study of which is considered to provide general knowledge, as opposed to vocational/occupational, technical or mechanical training.
    • 1983, David Leslie Wagner, The Seven liberal arts in the Middle Ages
    • 2008, Donal G. Mulcahy, The Educated Person: Toward a New Paradigm for Liberal Education ISBN 0742561224
    He had a full education studying the liberal arts.
  2. Generous; willing to give unsparingly.
    He was liberal with his compliments.
  3. Ample, abundant; generous in quantity.
    • 1896, in Ice and refrigeration, volume 11, page 93:
      For this reason a liberal amount of piping should be used. If a liberal supply of piping is provided at first, the first cost will of course be greater, but the extra expenditure is called for but once.
    Add a liberal sprinkling of salt.
  4. (obsolete) Unrestrained, licentious.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4 Scene 1
      Myself, my brother, and this grieved count,
      Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night,
      Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window;
      Who hath indeed, most like a liberal villain,
      Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
      A thousand times in secret.
  5. Widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions or conventions; permissive.
    Her parents had liberal ideas about child-rearing.
  6. (politics) Open to political or social changes and reforms associated with either classical or modern liberalism.
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: large
  • Russian: либера́льный
Translations Noun

liberal (plural liberals)

  1. One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia's article on Liberalism).
  2. (US) Someone left-wing; one with a left-wing ideology.
  3. A supporter of any of several liberal parties.
  4. (UK) One who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, and laissez-faire markets (also called "classical liberal"; compare libertarian).
Translations Translations Translations

liberal (plural liberals)

  1. (politics) A political party and philosophy
  2. (politics) A member or supporter of a Liberal Party
  3. (Canada) A member or supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, or its predecessors, or provincial equivalents, or their predecessors
  4. (British) A Liberal Democrat.
  5. (British, dated) A Whig.
Related terms Adjective

liberal (not comparable)

  1. Of or relating to the Liberal party, its membership, or its platform, policy, or viewpoint.
Proper noun
  1. An unincorporated community in Spencer County, Indiana.
  2. A city/county seat in Seward County, Kansas.
  3. A small city in Barton County, Missouri.
  4. An unincorporated community in Clackamas County, Oregon.

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