liberalism

play
noun lib·er·al·ism \ˈli-b(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of liberalism

  1. 1 :  the quality or state of being liberal

  2. 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

liberalist

play \ˈli-b(ə-)rə-list\ noun or adjective

liberalistic

play \ˌli-b(ə-)rə-ˈli-stik\ adjective

Examples of liberalism in a Sentence

  1. liberalism had always claimed to stand for the greatest social good

Recent Examples of liberalism from the Web

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

see 1liberal


LIBERALISM Defined for English Language Learners

liberalism

play
noun

Definition of liberalism for English Language Learners

  • : belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress



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