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

Other Words from liberalize

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

Examples of liberalize in a Sentence

The country's immigration policies have begun to liberalize.
Recent Examples on the Web This is the engagement policy we were told would eventually liberalize Russia—and China—by tying it to the free world. Garry Kasparov, WSJ, 16 May 2022 When Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, came into power in 2018, his administration’s move to liberalize sectors which had remained closed for over a century, was initially met with optimism. Hawi Dadhi, Quartz, 8 June 2022 What’s the total big number and who are the leaders in getting cash from the lobby that has persuaded lawmakers to liberalize the gun laws. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 1 June 2022 When China won hosting duty for the 2008 Games, some proponents hoped the international attention would spur Beijing to liberalize its political system, similar to measures enacted in South Korea after Seoul hosted in 1988. James T. Areddy, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 Republican legislative majorities in both states likely will oppose moves to liberalize those laws. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 After Western governments and global lenders began putting pressure on those countries to liberalize their economies in the 1980s, trade restrictions fell, and clothing imports from the rest of the world flooded in. Ryan Lenora Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Apr. 2022 Germany wants to encourage its citizens to stay in work for longer before retiring and liberalize migration and citizenship rules. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 22 Dec. 2021 Last fall, New Yorkers voted down a constitutional amendment to liberalize the state’s laws on vote-by-mail by 55% 45%. Karl Rove, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of liberalize

1765, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Learn More About liberalize

Time Traveler for liberalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of liberalize was in 1765

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near liberalize



Liberal Jew

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for liberalize

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Liberalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on liberalize

Nglish: Translation of liberalize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liberalize for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!