Definition of liberalism
1 : the quality or state of being liberal
2a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianityb : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard (see gold standard 1)c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy (see autonomy 2) of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (such as those involving race, gender, or class)d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal (see 1liberal 6b) party
liberalistplay \ˈli-b(ə-)rə-list\ noun or adjective
liberalisticplay \ˌli-b(ə-)rə-ˈli-stik\ adjective
Examples of liberalism in a Sentence
liberalism had always claimed to stand for the greatest social good
Recent Examples of liberalism from the Web
In an important recent contribution to the study of religion and politics, political scientist Jeremy Menchik calls this tolerance without liberalism.
During the Cold War, right-wing anti-liberalism was slightly tempered by the need for a bipartisan foreign policy.
And while Pelosi may connote liberalism to many, in much of the country, her brand is quite the opposite -- reflecting an elitism that can hurt Democrats on Election Day.
Since the war, German politics has been founded on two fundamental commitments: to liberalism at home; to Atlanticism abroad.
Gabler paints a heartbreaking portrait of Winchell's personal ruin and political decline from populism and liberalism into McCarthyism.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liberalism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of liberalism
First Known Use: 1816
LIBERALISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of liberalism for English Language Learners
: belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress
Learn More about liberalism
See words that rhyme with liberalism Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for liberalism Spanish Central: Translation of liberalism Nglish: Translation of liberalism for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of liberalism for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about liberalism
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