Liberal Lib"er*al (l[i^]b"[~e]r*al), a. [F. lib['e]ral, L. liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf. {Deliver}.] 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.'' --Macaulay. `` A liberal tongue.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver. `` Liberal of praise.'' --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Infinitely good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic. [1913 Webster]

6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious. `` Most like a liberal villain.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

I confess I see nothing liberal in this `` order of thoughts,'' as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it. --Hazlitt. [1913 Webster]

Note: 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. [1913 Webster]

{The liberal arts}. See under {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. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free.

Usage: {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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • libéral — libéral, ale, aux [ liberal, o ] adj. et n. • v. 1160 « généreux »; lat. liberalis 1 ♦ Vieilli Qui donne facilement, largement. ⇒ généreux, large, munificent, prodigue. Il est plus libéral de promesses que d argent. 2 ♦ (v. 1210; lat. artes… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • libéral — libéral, ale (li bé ral, ra l ) adj. 1°   Qui est digne d un homme libre (ce qui est le sens propre). Éducation libérale.    Arts libéraux, par opposition aux arts mécaniques, ceux qui exigent une intervention grande et perpétuelle de l… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Liberal — may refer to:PoliticsUnited States* One who supports social liberalism * Liberalism, a political ideology that seeks to maximize individual liberties. Within liberalism are competing schools of thought, in general they are: **Classical liberalism …   Wikipedia

  • liberal — lib‧e‧ral [ˈlɪbrəl] adjective 1. believing that people should be free to behave as they like, and supporting gradual political and social change: • She has liberal views on such issues as equal education and job opportunities for black and white …   Financial and business terms

  • liberal — LIBERÁL, Ă, liberali, e, adj., s.m. I. adj. 1. Care aparţine liberalismului, privitor la liberalism. ♢ Burghezie liberală = parte a burgheziei adeptă a liberalismului. Partid liberal = partid al burgheziei liberale. 2. (înv.) Iubitor de libertate …   Dicționar Român

  • liberal — adj 1 Liberal, generous, bountiful, bounteous, openhanded, munificent, handsome are applied to a person or to his deeds or utterances and mean showing or revealing a spirit of giving freely and without stint. Liberal suggests openhandedness or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • liberal — [lib′ər əl, lib′rəl] adj. [OFr < L liberalis < liber, free < IE base * leudhero , belonging to the people, free < base * leudh , to grow up, rise > Ger leute, people, OE leodan, to grow] 1. suitable for a freeman; not restricted:… …   English World dictionary

  • liberal — Adj erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. libéral freiheitlich , dieses aus l. līberālis edel, freigebig, freiheitlich , zu l. līber frei . Das lateinische Wort war zuvor bereits in der Bedeutung freigebig entlehnt worden. Abstraktum …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • liberal — adjetivo,sustantivo masculino y femenino 1. Que es partidario del liberalismo, o de las doctrinas favorables a la libertad política y a la tolerancia: régimen liberal, partido liberal, idea liberal. Estoy leyendo un libro sobre los liberales y… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • liberal — (vom lat. liber ‚frei‘) bezeichnet: im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch eine freiheitliche Gesinnung in der Politik und Politikwissenschaft eine politische Strömung, siehe Liberalismus in Bezug auf die Ökonomie den Wirtschaftsliberalismus eine Richtung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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