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civil liberty

noun, Usually, civil liberties
the freedom of a citizen to exercise customary rights, as of speech or assembly, without unwarranted or arbitrary interference by the government.
such a right as guaranteed by the laws of a country, as in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights.
Origin of civil liberty
1635-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for civil liberties
  • They are interested in going after the bad guys and they've done a good job of that without compromising civil liberties.
  • And your society is probably autocratic with few political and civil liberties.
  • In the days since, a media firestorm has ensued over a perceived violation of civil liberties by transit system officials.
  • For me, this civics lesson at the mailbox joined together privacy and civil liberties.
  • There are two sides to every argument and in this case it is civil liberties vs safety.
  • There will be collateral damage to the press and our civil liberties.
  • They fear that an overreliance on the military will have adverse consequences for privacy and civil liberties.
  • On economic issues he was a reformer, but on civil liberties he was a disaster.
  • The next president should create a new executive branch position: a civil liberties adviser.
  • Presidents have more power over foreign policy and civil liberties matters than the economy.
British Dictionary definitions for civil liberties

civil liberty

the right of an individual to certain freedoms of speech and action
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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civil liberties in Culture

civil liberties definition

In general, the rights to freedom of thought, expression, and action, and the protection of these rights from government interference or restriction. Civil liberties are the hallmark of liberal, democratic “free” societies. In the United States, the Bill of Rights guarantees a variety of civil liberties, most notably freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, expressed in the First Amendment. (See civil rights.)

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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