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noun lib·er·ty \ˈli-bər-tē\

Simple Definition of liberty

  • : 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

Full Definition of liberty

plural lib·er·ties

  1. 1 :  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

  2. 2 a :  a right or immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant :  privilege b :  permission especially to go freely within specified limits

  3. 3 :  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

  4. 4 :  a short authorized absence from naval duty usually for less than 48 hours

at liberty
  1. 1 :  free

  2. 2 :  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>.


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

Definition of Liberty

  1. city NW Missouri NNE of Kansas City pop 29,149

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up liberty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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