from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To free from bondage, oppression, or restraint; liberate.
  • transitive v. Law To release (a child) from the control of parents or a guardian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To set free from the power of another; to liberate; as:
  • v. To free from any controlling influence, especially from anything which exerts undue or evil influence; as, to emancipate one from prejudices or error.
  • adj. Freed; set at liberty.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Set at liberty.
  • transitive v. To set free from the power of another; to liberate; as: (a) To set free, as a minor from a parent. (b) To set free from bondage; to give freedom to; to manumit.
  • transitive v. To free from any controlling influence, especially from anything which exerts undue or evil influence; as, to emancipate one from prejudices or error.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set free from servitude or bondage by voluntary act; restore from slavery to freedom; liberate: as, to emancipate a slave.
  • To set free or liberate; in a general sense, to free from civil restriction, or restraint of any kind; liberate from bondage, subjection, or controlling power or influence: as, to emancipate one from prejudices or error.
  • Synonyms Emancipate, Manumit, Enfranchise, Liberate, disenthrall, release, unfetter, unshackle. To manumit is the act of an individual formally freeing a slave; the word has no figurative uses. To emancipate is to free from a literal or a figurative slavery: as, the slaves in the West Indies were emancipated; to emancipate the mind. To enfranchise is to bring into freedom or into civil rights; hence the word often refers to the lifting of a slave into full civil equality with freemen. Liberate is a general word for setting or making free, whether from slavery, from confinement, or from real or figurative oppressions, as fears, doubts, etc.
  • Freed; emancipated.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give equal rights to; of women and minorities
  • v. free from slavery or servitude


Latin ēmancipāre, ēmancipāt- : ē-, ex-, ex- + mancipāre, to sell, transfer (from manceps, mancip-, purchaser; see man-2 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin emancipatus, past participle of emancipare ("to declare (a son) free and independent of the father's power by the thrice-repeated act of mancipatio and manumission, give from one's own power or authority into that of another, give up, surrender"), from e ("out") + mancipare ("to transfer ownership in"), from manceps ("purchaser, a contractor, literally, one who takes in hand"), from manus ("hand") + capere ("to take"). See manual, and capable. (Wiktionary)


  • Yet in the early decades of the 20th Century, they said, the assumption behind machines had been that "labor is an evil"; the new technological devices did not so much "emancipate" workers, as "evict" them.

    Agrarianism and the Popular Education Culture

  • Seeking to 'emancipate' the individual from authority.

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • Just to give one very wacky example, suppose a post-Singularity intelligence decided to "emancipate" us all from the limits of human sexuality by setting everyone up with a complete set of both male and female reproductive organs?

    The Speculist: July 2006 Archives

  • Do not seek to "emancipate" yourself -- do not strive to unsex yourself and become a Lucy Stone, or a Rev. Miss

    The Wedding Guest

  • One intention of the season, in the words of the powers that be, was to "emancipate" John from his mother, but his stroppy teenager act whenever the subject of Riley came up made him less, not more sympathetic.

    DVD Times

  • It is pure social activism, not aimed at helping children gain wisdom, but to "emancipate" them from blind belief in Western civilisation, especially what they might learn from "literature".


  • "emancipate" the African majority through the attainment of

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Villari regretfully concluded that the “only way an Italian can emancipate himself from this inferior state is to abandon all sense of national pride and to identify completely with the Americans.”

    A Renegade History of the United States

  • Our lawyer described the adoption process to us in detail: “In order for a same-sex parent to adopt, the biological mother will have to emancipate her baby in the court, and then each of you will be listed on the birth certificates as ‘Parent.’”

    Times Two

  • In a 1918 essay “Nervous Diseases and Eugenics in Jews,” he wrote that the Bolshevik Revolution would emancipate the Jews and spell the end of the nervous wandering Jew, who would “remain only in the world of stories and fantasies.”



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.