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[lib-er-uh l, lib-ruh l] /ˈlɪb ər əl, ˈlɪb rəl/
favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
(often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism, especially the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.
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.
favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression:
a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant:
a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts:
a liberal donor.
given freely or abundantly; generous:
a liberal donation.
not strict or rigorous; free; not literal:
a liberal interpretation of a rule.
of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.
a person of liberal principles or views, especially in politics or religion.
(often initial capital letter) a member of a liberal party in politics, especially of the Liberal party in Great Britain.
1325-75; Middle English < Latin līberālis of freedom, befitting the free, equivalent to līber free + -ālis -al1
Related forms
liberally, adverb
liberalness, noun
antiliberal, adjective, noun
antiliberally, adverb
antiliberalness, noun
half-liberal, adjective
half-liberally, adverb
nonliberal, adjective
overliberal, adjective
overliberally, adverb
preliberal, adjective, noun
preliberally, adverb
pseudoliberal, adjective, noun
pseudoliberally, adverb
quasi-liberal, adjective
quasi-liberally, adverb
semiliberal, adjective, noun
semiliberally, adverb
unliberal, adjective
unliberally, adverb
1. progressive. 7. broad-minded, unprejudiced. 9. beneficent, charitable, openhanded, munificent, unstinting, lavish. See generous. 10. See ample.
1. reactionary. 8. intolerant. 9, 10. niggardly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for antiliberal


/ˈlɪbərəl; ˈlɪbrəl/
relating to or having social and political views that favour progress and reform
relating to or having policies or views advocating individual freedom
giving and generous in temperament or behaviour
tolerant of other people
abundant; lavish a liberal helping of cream
not strict; free a liberal translation
of or relating to an education that aims to develop general cultural interests and intellectual ability
a person who has liberal ideas or opinions
Derived Forms
liberally, adverb
liberalness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin līberālis of freedom, from līber free


/ˈlɪbərəl; ˈlɪbrəl/
a member or supporter of a Liberal Party or Liberal Democrat party
of or relating to a Liberal Party
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antiliberal
late 14c., from O.Fr. liberal "befitting free men, noble, generous," from L. liberalis "noble, generous," lit. "pertaining to a free man," from liber "free," from PIE base *leudheros (cf. Gk. eleutheros "free"), probably originally "belonging to the people" (though the precise semantic development is obscure), from *leudho- "people" (cf. O.C.S. ljudu, Lith. liaudis, O.E. leod, Ger. Leute "nation, people"). Earliest reference in English is to the liberal arts. Sense of "free in bestowing" is from late 14c. With a meaning "free from restraint in speech or action" (late 15c.) liberal was used 16c.-17c. as a term of reproach. It revived in a positive sense in the Enlightenment, with a meaning "free from prejudice, tolerant," which emerged 1776-88. Purely in reference to political opinion, "tending in favor of freedom and democracy" it dates from c.1801, from Fr. libéral, originally applied in English by its opponents (often in French form and with suggestions of foreign lawlessness) to the party favorable to individual political freedoms. But also (especially in U.S. politics) tending to mean "favorable to government action to effect social change," which seems at times to draw more from the religious sense of "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions" (and thus open to new ideas and plans of reform), which dates from 1823.
"Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others." [Ambrose Bierce, "Devil's Dictionary," 1911]
The noun meaning "member of the Liberal party of Great Britain" is from 1820.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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antiliberal in Culture

liberal definition

A descriptive term for persons, policies, and beliefs associated with liberalism.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for antiliberal


city, seat (1892) of Seward county, southwestern Kansas, U.S. It lies near the Oklahoma border just north of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Founded in 1888, it was so-named because a local landowner, L.E. Keefes, was "liberal" in allowing the use of his well in time of drought. The community developed around a railroad terminus serving cattle ranchers. During World War II, Liberal Army Air Field, now the city's municipal airport, served as a training centre for bomber pilots; some 100 vintage aircraft are on display at the city's Mid-American Air Museum. The city now serves as a trading centre for a grain and livestock area. Located at the eastern edge of the Hugoton natural-gas field, Liberal relies on natural-gas and oil extraction, petroleum refining, and meatpacking. Gas-pumping plants are in the area. Liberal is the seat of Seward County Community College (1969). The Dalton Gang Hideout and Museum is located in Meade, some 40 miles (65 km) northeast (see Dalton brothers). Inc. 1888. Pop. (1990) 16,573; (2000) 19,666.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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