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

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More