liberal Definition

  • 1open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
  • 2favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms.
  • 3relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.

Using liberal: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "liberal" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She has liberal views on social issues.

  • Example

    The company has a liberal policy on vacation time.

  • Example

    He is a liberal politician who supports universal healthcare.

  • Example

    The university has a liberal arts program that includes courses in literature, history, and philosophy.

liberal Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for liberal

Phrases with liberal

  • a form of government characterized by free and fair elections, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and the guarantee of individual liberties.


    The United States is often cited as an example of a liberal democracy.

  • an approach to learning that emphasizes broad knowledge across multiple disciplines, critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity.


    A liberal education prepares students for a wide range of careers and life experiences.

  • academic subjects such as literature, philosophy, mathematics, and social sciences that are intended to provide a well-rounded education.


    Many colleges and universities require students to take courses in the liberal arts.

Origins of liberal

from Latin 'liberalis', meaning 'noble, generous'


Summary: liberal in Brief

The term 'liberal' [ˈlɪbərəl] refers to being open to new ideas and opinions, and respecting individual rights and freedoms. It can describe a person's views or a policy, as in 'She has liberal views on social issues' or 'The company has a liberal policy on vacation time.' Politically, it relates to a philosophy promoting individual rights, democracy, and free enterprise. 'Liberal' extends into phrases like 'liberal democracy,' 'liberal education,' and 'liberal arts,' highlighting the importance of broad knowledge and critical thinking.

How do native speakers use this expression?