AskDefine | Define liberal

Dictionary Definition

liberal adj
1 showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions" [syn: broad, large-minded, tolerant]
2 having political or social views favoring reform and progress
3 tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative]
4 given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather" [syn: big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, openhanded]
5 not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem" [syn: free, loose]

Noun

1 a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties [syn: progressive] [ant: conservative]
2 a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets

User Contributed Dictionary

see Liberal

English

Etymology

From Latin liber meaning free.

Pronunciation

Adjective

  1. Generous in quantity.
    Add a liberal sprinkling of salt.
  2. A political description, following liberalism.
  3. Based on optimistic assumptions.
    At a liberal estimate, growth could exceed 5% next year.
  4. Favoring social freedom; permissive.
    Her parents had liberal ideas about child-rearing.
  5. Favoring ideas that treat all people with equal justice regardless of educational, financial, sexual or racial status.
  6. Opposing conservative positions, particularly those of social conservatives.
  7. Opposing both conservative and socialist positions, particularly those of economic protectionists and authoritarians.
  8. Related to Classical Liberalism, as in the political philosophy of American Conservatives who emphasize liberty, and also Libertarians.

See also

Translations

Generous in quantity
A political description, following liberalism, sometimes used without regard to true meaning, as a pejorative
Based on optimistic assumptions
Favoring social freedom; permissive
Favoring ideas that treat all people with equal justice regardless of educational, financial, sexual or racial status
Opposing conservative positions, particularly those of social conservatives
Opposing both conservative and socialist positions, particularly those of economic protectionists and authoritarians

Noun

  1. One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty (see Wikipedia on Liberalism for a description of the various and diverging trends of liberalism).
  2. A supporter of any of the particular liberal parties.
  3. One opposing the views of a social conservative and favoring socially responsible taxes. Sometimes used pejoratively in political campaigns.
  4. A person who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, individual gun-rights, laissez-faire markets, and the gold standard.

Translations

One with liberal views, supporting individual liberty
A supporter of any of the particular liberal parties
One opposing the views of a social conservative and favoring socially responsible taxes
A person who favors individual voting rights, human and civil rights, individual gun-rights, laissez-faire markets, and the gold standard

Extensive Definition

Liberal may refer to:
US Politics:
UK Politics:
  • Liberal in the United Kingdom may refer to opposing both conservative and socialist positions, particularly those of economic protectionists and authoritarians.
  • Liberal Party (UK), a minority political party which was a major force in government in the UK in the 19th and early 20th century.
  • European liberalism, liberalism in Europe
Other uses in politics:
  • Liberty, the condition of being free from control or restrictions
  • Liberal democracy, a form of government based on limited majority rule
  • Liberal Party, members of the political party. In a classical sense, a government or political party associated with ideals of high individual freedom etc.
  • Liberalism worldwide, liberal parties around the world
  • Small-l liberal, a term used to distinguish between people with a liberal ideology and members of a Liberal party
  • Liberal Democratic Party, a common name for political parties around the globe
Economics:
Places in the USA:
Other:
liberal in Spanish: Liberal
liberal in French: Libéralisme (homonymie)
liberal in Hebrew: ליברלים
liberal in Dutch: Liberal
liberal in Polish: Liberal
liberal in Portuguese: Liberalismo
liberal in Finnish: Liberaali
liberal in Volapük: Liberal

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Gospel side, abounding, abundant, advanced, affluent, all-sufficing, amiable, ample, aplenty, benevolent, big, big person, bighearted, bottomless, bounteous, bountiful, broad, broad-gauge person, broad-minded, cantorial side, charitable, chivalrous, copious, cordial, counterclockwise, diffuse, disinterested, dispassionate, ecumenicist, effuse, eleemosynary, elevated, epidemic, exalted, exhaustless, extensive, extravagant, exuberant, fair, far-embracing, far-extending, far-flung, far-flying, far-going, far-ranging, far-reaching, fat, fertile, flexible, flush, forbearing, free, free lance, free spirit, free trader, freehanded, freehearted, freethinker, freethinking, friendly, full, galore, generous, genial, giving, gracious, great, great of heart, greathearted, handsome, hearty, heroic, high, high-minded, hospitable, humanistic, idealistic, impartial, in plenty, in quantity, independent, indiscriminate, individualist, individualistic, indulgent, inexhaustible, isolationist, knightly, larboard, large, large-scale, largehearted, latitudinarian, lavish, left, left hand, left of center, left wing, left-hand, left-hand side, left-wing, left-winger, left-wingish, leftist, lenient, levorotatory, liberalist, liberalistic, libertarian, libertine, lofty, loose, luxuriant, magnanimous, many, maximal, much, mugwump, munificent, near, near side, neighborly, neutral, nigh, noble, noble-minded, nonpartisan, numerous, on the left, open, open-handed, open-minded, openhanded, openhearted, opulent, overflowing, philanthropic, plenitudinous, plenteous, plentiful, plenty, port, port tack, portside, prevailing, prevalent, princely, prodigal, productive, profuse, profusive, progressive, progressivist, progressivistic, radical, rampant, receptive, reformer, reformist, replete, rich, rife, riotous, rugged individualist, running over, sinister, sinistral, sinistrocerebral, sinistrocular, sinistrogyrate, sinistrorse, stintless, sublime, superabundant, sweeping, teeming, third force, third world, tolerant, unbigoted, ungrudging, unjaundiced, unopinionated, unprejudiced, unselfish, unsparing, unstinted, unstinting, verso, warm, warmhearted, wealthy, welcoming, welfare stater, well-found, well-furnished, well-provided, well-stocked, wholesale, wide, wide-extended, wide-extending, wide-ranging, wide-reaching, wide-stretching, widespread, wrong side
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