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Definition of Liberal


  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.
  2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.
  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.
  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.
  5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
  6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.
  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.
  8. 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.

Liberal Quotations

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
Robert A. Heinlein

If you ask me about my views on the environment, on women's rights, on gay rights, I am liberal. I don't have a problem with that at all. Some of my best friends are liberal.
Bernie Sanders

With the development of industrial capitalism, a new and unanticipated system of injustice, it is libertarian socialism that has preserved and extended the radical humanist message of the Enlightenment and the classical liberal ideals that were perverted into an ideology to sustain the emerging social order.
Noam Chomsky

A large nose is the mark of a witty, courteous, affable, generous and liberal man.
Cyrano de Bergerac

My grandparents used to pray five times a day, but they were quiet about their own thing. Completely liberal day by day; my grandmother was a social worker and my grandfather was an engineer, but they never talked about religion. My entire life I couldn't remember one conversation I had with them about religion.
Mohsin Hamid
More "Liberal" Quotations

Liberal Translations

liberal in Dutch is liberaal, vrijzinnig
liberal in Finnish is vapaamielinen
liberal in Italian is liberale
liberal in Norwegian is liberal, frisinnet, gavmild
liberal in Swedish is liberal, frisinnad, givmild
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