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 uk   /ˈlɪb.ər.əl/ us    /-ɚ-/

liberal adjective (SOCIETY)

C1 respecting and allowing many different types of beliefs or behaviour: a liberal society/attitude Her parents were far more liberal than mine.
Opposite
More examples

liberal adjective (POLITICS)

C1 (of a political party or a country) believing in or allowing more personal freedom and development towards a fairer sharing of wealth and power within society
More examples

liberal adjective (GENEROUS)

formal giving or given in a generous way: He was very liberal with the wine.

liberal adjective (NOT EXACT)

not exact; without attention to or interest in detail: a liberal interpretation of the law
liberalism
noun [U] uk   /-ɪ.zəm/ us  
liberality
noun [U] uk   /ˌlɪb.əˈræl.ə.ti/ us    /-t̬i/ formal
liberally
adverb uk   /-i/ formal us  
Apply the cream liberally to the affected area.

liberal

noun [C] uk   /ˈlɪb.ər.əl/ /-rəl/ us    /-ɚ-/ /ˈlɪb.ər.əl/ /-rəl/  /-ɚ-/
someone who respects many different types of beliefs or behaviour: He's a good old-fashioned liberal.
(Definition of liberal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of liberal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “liberal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hyphen

the symbol -, used to join two words together, or to show that a word has been divided into two parts at the end of one line and the beginning of the next

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More