Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “liberal”


adjective (SOCIETY)    /ˈlɪb.ər.əl/ US  /-ɚ-/
C1 respecting and allowing many different types of beliefs or behaviour: a liberal society/attitude Her parents were far more liberal than mine. → Opposite illiberalOpen-mindedJustice and fairness liberalism     /-ɪ.zəm/ noun [U] PoliticsOpen-mindedJustice and fairness liberality     /ˌlɪb.əˈræl.ə.ti/ US  /-t̬i/ noun [U] formal liberally     /-i/ adverb formal Apply the cream liberally to the affected area.Plenty and abundant
(Definition of liberal adjective (SOCIETY) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of liberal

Definitions of “liberal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


an ability to do things in the stated, especially positive, way

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More