Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “liberal”

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

liberal adjective (POLITICS)

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

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

light at the end of the tunnel

signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More