lib·​er·​al·​ize | \ˈli-b(ə-)rə-ˌlīz \
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 \ noun
liberalizer \ˈli-​b(ə-​)rə-​ˌlī-​zər \ noun

Examples of liberalize in a Sentence

The country's immigration policies have begun to liberalize.

Recent Examples on the Web

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 The country is seeking to remain a destination, while liberalizing its ultra-conservative rules such as the ban on female drivers., "Forget Oil. Religion Is Big Business in Saudi Arabia," 4 Oct. 2017 The change is part of a program to liberalize the kingdom and overhaul its oil-dependent economy championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. Margherita Stancati And Donna Abdulaziz, WSJ, "Saudi Women Take the Wheel as Driving Ban Is Lifted," 23 June 2018 Divorce remained exceedingly rare until the first liberalizing laws of the nineteenth century; breaking up in the more colloquial sense is not even a century old. Jess Bergman, The New Republic, "The Birth of Breakups," 18 June 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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Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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The first known use of liberalize was in 1765

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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

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living or existing for a long time

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