Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “liberal”

See all translations

liberal

adjective  /ˈlɪb·ər·əl/ us  

liberal adjective (SOCIAL)

allowing many different types of beliefs or behavior: a liberal society/person

liberal adjective (POLITICS)

politics & government tending to emphasize the need to make new laws when necessary because of changing conditions and to depend on the government to provide social services: a liberal policy/position

liberal adjective (GENEROUS)

giving or given in a generous way: Some merchants offer very liberal return policies, but others are strict.

liberal adjective (NOT EXACT)

without attention to or interest in small details: Other teachers are a lot more liberal about spelling errors than Mr. Brady.

liberal

noun [C]  /ˈlɪb·ə·rəl/ us  

liberal noun [C] (POLITICALLY LIBERAL PERSON)

a person who thinks the government needs to make new laws when necessary because of changing conditions and who believes that the government should provide social services: Liberals in Congress support the bill.
(Definition of liberal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of liberal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “liberal”

Definitions of “liberal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More