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

transitive verb

: to make liberal or more liberal

intransitive verb

: to become liberal or more liberal
liberalization noun
liberalizer noun

Examples of liberalize in a Sentence

The country's immigration policies have begun to liberalize.
Recent Examples on the Web King Abdullah has pledged in recent years to liberalize Jordan’s autocracy. Aaron Boxerman, New York Times, 2 Sep. 2023 Washington liberalized critical infrastructure, and the government looked on with indifference as U.S. telecommunications manufacturers, such as Lucent, were bought out by foreign firms or went under. Henry Farrell, Foreign Affairs, 19 Oct. 2023 As jurisdictions across the United States and in other countries steadily liberalize their laws around marijuana, the novelty of legal weed is wearing off for residents. Mike Ives, New York Times, 27 Aug. 2023 In his column remembering Khashoggi, his longtime friend and associate, The Post’s David Ignatius noted that the Saudi dissident would marvel at the undeniable liberalizing reforms achieved by MBS. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 Throughout his decade as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has allowed debates on previously taboo topics and set in motion subtle shifts toward liberalizing changes that have enraged conservatives for going too far and frustrated progressives for not going far enough. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 Lions receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is among 21 players on NFL active rosters wearing No. 0 this season after the NFL liberalized its uniform policy to allow for some not-so-conventional uniform changes. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023 To some degree, soccer is also being used as a tool to liberalize social mores in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Time, 11 Aug. 2023 But some of those rules have changed in recent years, with the Sichuan province in the southwest of the country liberalizing those rules last year in a bid to improve fertility rates. Michael Lee, Fox News, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'liberalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1765, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of liberalize was in 1765

Dictionary Entries Near liberalize

Cite this Entry

“Liberalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


lib·​er·​al·​ize ˈlib(-ə)-rə-ˌlīz How to pronounce liberalize (audio)
liberalized; liberalizing
: to make or become liberal or more liberal
liberalization noun

More from Merriam-Webster on liberalize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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