Word of the Day: LIBERAL


adjective \ˈli-b(ə-)rəl\

: believing that government should be active in supporting social and political change : relating to or supporting political liberalism

Liberal : of or belonging to the liberal political party in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom

: not opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted

Full Definition of LIBERAL

1 a :  of, relating to, or based on the liberal arts <liberal education>

  b archaic :  of or befitting a man of free birth

2 a :  marked by generosity :  openhanded <a liberal giver>

  b :  given or provided in a generous and openhanded way <a liberal meal>
  c :  ample, full
3 obsolete :  lacking moral restraint :  licentious
4 :  not literal or strict :  loose <a liberal translation>
5 :  broad-minded; especially :  not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms

6 a :  of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism

  b capitalized :  of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially :  of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives
lib·er·al·ly adverb
lib·er·al·ness noun

Examples of LIBERAL

  1. She is a liberal Democrat who married a conservative Republican.
  2. She has a liberal attitude toward sex.
  3. He made a very liberal donation to the museum.
  4. Many fishermen keep their holes from freezing over with liberal injections of antifreeze. —Time, 28 Feb. 1974
  5. Alexandra looked at him mournfully. I try to be more liberal about such things than I used to be. I try to realize that we are not all made alike … —Willa Cather, O Pioneers!, 1913
  6. This cost him considerable, for Dick was rather fastidious about his cigars, and wouldn’t smoke the cheapest. Besides, having a liberal nature, he was generally ready to treat his companions. —Horatio Alger, Ragged Dick, 1868
  7. On most issues he was thought of as a generally liberal figure, but on gun control he was live-free-or-die National Rifle Association man. —Jonathan Raban, Harper’s, Aug. 1993

Origin of LIBERAL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lēodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free

First Known Use: 14th century


noun \ˈli-b(ə-)rəl\

: a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change : a person who is politically liberal

Liberal : a member or supporter of a liberal political party in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada

Full Definition of LIBERAL

:  a person who is liberal: as

a :  one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways

b capitalized :  a member or supporter of a liberal political party (see 1liberal)

c :  an advocate or adherent of liberalism especially in individual rights

Examples of LIBERAL

  1. a policy that is supported both by liberals and conservatives in Congress

Origin of LIBERAL

(see 1liberal)

First Known Use: 1820



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