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noun lib·er·ty \ˈli-bər-tē\

: the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely

: the power to do or choose what you want to

: a political right

plural lib·er·ties

Full Definition of LIBERTY

:  the quality or state of being free:
a :  the power to do as one pleases
b :  freedom from physical restraint
c :  freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
d :  the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
e :  the power of choice
a :  a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant :  privilege
b :  permission especially to go freely within specified limits
:  an action going beyond normal limits: as
a :  a breach of etiquette or propriety :  familiarity
b :  risk, chance <took foolish liberties with his health>
c :  a violation of rules or a deviation from standard practice
d :  a distortion of fact
:  a short authorized absence from naval duty usually for less than 48 hours
at liberty
:  free
:  at leisure :  unoccupied

Examples of LIBERTY

  1. a nation that values liberty and democracy
  2. soldiers willing to die in defense of liberty
  3. They gave him the liberty to handle the problem himself.
  4. hard-won liberties such as freedom of the press

Origin of LIBERTY

Middle English, from Anglo-French liberté, from Latin libertat-, libertas, from liber free — more at liberal
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of LIBERTY

freedom, liberty, license mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. freedom has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated <freedom of the press>. liberty suggests release from former restraint or compulsion <the released prisoner had difficulty adjusting to his new liberty>. license implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom <freedom without responsibility may degenerate into license>.

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


geographical name Lib·er·ty \ˈli-bər-tē\

Definition of LIBERTY

city NW Missouri NNE of Kansas City pop 29,149
AT LIBERTY Defined for Kids


noun lib·er·ty \ˈli-bər-tē\
plural lib·er·ties

Definition of LIBERTY for Kids

:  the state of being free :  freedom
:  freedom to do as desired <Give the child some liberty.>
:  the state of not being busy :  leisure
:  a political right <Don't take your liberties for granted.>
:  an action that is too free <The movie takes liberties with the truth.>
at liberty
:  able to act or speak freely <I'm not at liberty to discuss the project.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: Liberty bondPrevious Word in the Dictionary: libertinismAll Words Near: liberty
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