American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
- adj. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
- adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
- adj. Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
- adj. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
- adj. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
- adj. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.
- adj. Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum: a liberal education.
- adj. Archaic Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
- adj. Obsolete Morally unrestrained; licentious.
- n. A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
- n. A member of a Liberal political party.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Befitting a freeman, or a state, condition, or situation free from narrow limitations; free in scope; of wide or ample range or extent; not narrowly limited or restricted; expanded; comprehensive: as, a liberal education; the liberal arts or professions; liberal thought or feeling; liberal institutions; a liberal policy in government; a liberal interpretation or estimate.
- Free in views or opinions; expansive in purpose or aim; not narrow, bigoted, or intolerant; specifically, favorable to personal, political, or religious liberty; opposed to narrow conservatism or undue restriction: as, a liberal thinker; a liberal Christian; a liberal statesman; the Liberal party (in the politics of some countries).
- Free in bestowal or concession; generously inclined; ready to impart or bestow; bountiful; munificent; magnanimous; followed by with or of before the thing bestowed, and to before the recipient: as, a liberal donor; to be liberal with one's money; to be liberal to an opponent in debate.
- Freely bestowed or yielded; marked by bounty or abundance; generous; ample: as, a liberal donation; a liberal harvest or flow of water; to make a liberal concession or admission.
- Free in character or quality; candid; open; hence, with an added implication, unduly free; unrestrained; unchecked; licentious.
- Synonyms Catholic, tolerant.
- Charitable, open-handed, free-handed.
- 4, Full, abundant, plentiful, unstinted.
- n. A person of liberal principles; one who believes in liberal reforms, or advocates intellectual, political, or religious liberty.
- n. [capitalized] Specifically, a member of a Liberal party in politics.
- n. One who holds liberal views in theology.
- adj. Pertaining to those arts and sciences the study of which is considered "worthy of a free man" (as opposed to servile, mechanical); worthy, befitting a gentleman.
- adj. Generous, willing to give unsparingly;.
- adj. Ample, abundant; generous in quantity.
- adj. obsolete Unrestrained, licentious.
- adj. Widely open to new ideas, willing to depart from established opinions or conventions; permissive.
- adj. politics Open to political or social changes and reforms associated with either classical or modern liberalism.
- n. One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia's article on Liberalism).
- n. Someone left-wing; one with a left-wing ideology.
- n. A supporter of any of several liberal parties.
- n. US One who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, individual gun rights, and laissez-faire markets (also called "classical liberal"; compare libertarian).
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean
- adj. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed.
- adj. Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse.
- adj. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free.
- adj. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
- adj. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.
- adj. 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
- 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.
- n. a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
- adj. not literal
- adj. having political or social views favoring reform and progress
- adj. given or giving freely
- adj. showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
- adj. tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition
- n. a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties
- The adjective is from Old French liberal, from Latin liberalis ("befitting a freeman"), from liber ("free"); it is attested since the 14th century. The noun is first attested in the 1800s. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, generous, from Old French, from Latin līberālis, from līber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Berlin's concern with the problem of culture anticipated the centrality in political theory of questions of identity and membership that began in the 1990s; his sympathy for the sentiments and needs underlying nationalism, which set him apart from many liberal theorists of his own time, presaged the revival of ˜liberal nationalism™ in the works of younger thinkers such as Michael Walzer, David Miller, Yael Tamir and Michael Ignatieff.”
“I seem to recall the phrase "taxation without representation." huh. a democrat calls for higher taxes, and tries to spin it as a moral duty. man! that hardly * ever* happens! ah, well. i'm sure biden - as the 3rd most liberal senate - i'm sure his lust for your money is not shared by obama, who's merely the * most liberal* member of the senate.”
“I think the use of the term liberal from the short snipit that we are given is not the same liberal that the blogger is useing.”
“But the term liberal used in this way evokes a whole narrative that is nearly universal in many fundamentalist/Evangelical circles.”
“The term liberal in liberal arts is from the Latin word liberalis, meaning "appropriate for free men", and they were contrasted with the servile arts.”
“And the term liberal spreads on both sides of the aisle, since a "liberal" is merely one who "liberally" construes the Constitution bynot consulting it in any mannerwhatsoever.”
“The word liberal, which is used so pejoratively in our culture right now, has a really rich history and a rich meaning to it.”
“One possible problem is that in French, the phrase 'liberal media' very handily translates to 'libéral media,' so you know they're going to trot that one out very early into the new paradigm.”
“One possible problem is that in French, the phrase 'liberal media' very handily translates to 'libÃ©ral media,' so you know they're going to trot that one out very early into the new paradigm.”
“The Wisconsin liberal is aiming for a comeback with TV ads blasting Mr. Johnson for supposedly wanting to "put insurance companies back in control.”
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