liberal [lib′ər əl, lib′rəl]
[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: now only in LIBERAL ARTS, LIBERAL EDUCATION, etc.
2. giving freely; generous
3. large or plentiful; ample; abundant [a liberal reward ]
4. not restricted to the literal meaning; not strict [a liberal interpretation of the Bible]
5. tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded; specif., not orthodox
6. of democratic or republican forms of government, as distinguished from monarchies, aristocracies, etc.
7. favoring reform or progress, as in religion, education, etc.; specif., favoring political reforms tending toward democracy and personal freedom for the individual; progressive
8. [L-] designating or of a political party upholding liberal principles, esp. such a party in England or Canada
9. Obs. excessively free or indecorous in behavior; licentious
1. a person favoring liberalism
2. [L-] a member of a liberal political party
SYN.- LIBERAL implies tolerance of others' views as well as open-mindedness to ideas that challenge tradition, established institutions, etc.; PROGRESSIVE, a relative term opposed to reactionary or conservative, is applied to persons favoring progress and reform in politics, education, etc. and connotes an inclination to more direct action than LIBERAL; ADVANCED specifically implies a being ahead of the times, as in science, the arts, philosophy, etc.; RADICAL implies a favoring of fundamental or extreme change, specifically of the social structure; LEFT1, originally referring to the position in legislatures of the seats occupied by parties holding such views, implies political liberalism or radicalism

English World dictionary. . 2014.


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