lib·​er·​al·​ize | \ ˈli-b(ə-)rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce liberalize (audio) \
liberalized; liberalizing

Definition of liberalize

transitive verb

: to make liberal or more liberal

intransitive verb

: to become liberal or more liberal

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Other Words from liberalize

liberalization \ ˌli-​b(ə-​)rə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce liberalization (audio) \ noun
liberalizer \ ˈli-​b(ə-​)rə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce liberalizer (audio) \ noun

Examples of liberalize in a Sentence

The country's immigration policies have begun to liberalize.

Recent Examples on the Web

The deal updates the North American Free Trade Agreement, in the main preserving NAFTA’s liberalized environment of low or no tariffs among the U.S., Mexico and Canada, while making certain improvements for each country. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims innocence in probe; wall myths," 7 Jan. 2019 In his first 100 days, the new prime minister released thousands of political prisoners, ended a state of emergency, began liberalizing the economy, and moved to implement a controversial peace agreement with Eritrea. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Brazil’s Bolsonaro Is 2018’s Biggest Winner," 7 Jan. 2019 Multiple reports indicate that MBS, who had been heralded as a liberalizing force in the country and praised by Western leaders and media, authorized a team to go to Istanbul to murder the journalist inside the consulate and dismember his body. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Time’s 2018 Person of the Year is Jamal Khashoggi and other “Guardians” of the truth," 11 Dec. 2018 Many of the people who contributed to the report are prominent scholars with a deep affection for China who held out hope that its government would liberalize. Kate O’keeffe, WSJ, "Scholars Warn of Chinese Influence Operations in U.S.," 28 Nov. 2018 The wave of interest comes as several countries, including the region’s two largest economies, Brazil and Mexico, have liberalized their energy markets in a bid to offset declining oil production or fiscal constraints. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Major Oil Companies Embrace Latin America," 21 May 2018 Unirule was founded 25 years ago to promote liberalizing China’s economy and democratizing its government. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "In Beijing, Doors Shut on a Bastion of Independent Ideas," 11 July 2018 His mother, Charlotte Caldwell, has called for the laws governing medicinal marijuana use in Britain to be liberalized, saying cannabis oil is the only treatment that has warded off her son’s seizures. Washington Post, "UK reviews medical marijuana ban after outcry over sick kids," 19 June 2018 Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, presented a package of measures that would liberalize access to China’s financial sector on Wednesday in a follow-up to market-opening promises President Xi Jinping made in a speech a day earlier. WSJ, "Shanghai and London Stock Exchanges to Get a Trading Link," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'liberalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of liberalize

1765, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for liberalize

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for liberalize

The first known use of liberalize was in 1765

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More Definitions for liberalize



English Language Learners Definition of liberalize

: to make (something) less strict or more liberal
: to become less strict or more liberal

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More from Merriam-Webster on liberalize

Spanish Central: Translation of liberalize

Nglish: Translation of liberalize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liberalize for Arabic Speakers

Comments on liberalize

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


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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