[lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl] adjective

  1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
  2. ( often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
  3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism, especially the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.
  4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
  5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.


  1. a person of liberal principles or views, especially in politics or religion.
  2. ( often initial capital letter ) a member of a liberal party in politics, especially of the Liberal party in Great Britain.

Origin: 1325–75; Middle English < Latin līberālis of freedom, befitting the free, equivalent to līber free + -ālis -al1

Related forms:
lib·er·al·ly, adverb
lib·er·al·ness, noun
an·ti·lib·er·al, adjective, noun
an·ti·lib·er·al·ly, adverb
an·ti·lib·er·al·ness, noun

Synonyms: progressive, broad-minded, unprejudiced, beneficent, charitable, openhanded, munificent, unstinting, lavish.

Antonyms: reactionary, intolerant. niggardly.

A descriptive term for persons, policies, and beliefs associated with liberalism. Usually used by the conservatives to mean "Idiot".