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 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 According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, while China may liberalize rules around new NEV investment, the investments may in effect be limited by overcapacity in certain provinces. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Was the investment deal Europe signed with China worth it?," 15 Jan. 2021 The rules shifted abruptly in the past week, following a move by the state to liberalize restrictions for counties, like San Francisco, that met new health goals for combatting the pandemic. Shwanika Narayan,, "San Francisco businesses shuttered for months reopen to eager customers," 14 Sep. 2020 Despite an outcry from foreign governments and even a handful of celebrities, the Egyptian leader has little incentive to liberalize his rule. Washington Post, "Trump’s Arab allies are already testing Biden," 8 Dec. 2020 Though important wins, the overhaul will do little to make mining safer in practice, experts warn, amid weak enforcement and an ongoing push to liberalize Brazilian markets – in part by opening the country up to more natural resource extraction. Ana Ionova, The Christian Science Monitor, "Brazil dam disaster: Five years on, are new laws enough?," 13 Nov. 2020 Meanwhile, in Mississippi, a measure to pass the use of medical marijuana is leading by considerable margin with only around 10% of votes counted, in what would be a major step forward for initiatives to liberalize cannabis in the Deep South. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "Cannabis legalization measures set to pass in 5 states," 4 Nov. 2020 Biden's position would liberalize laws governing marijuana but would stop short of legalizing it. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Joe Biden faces friendly fire – partly false – over age, pot, prisons and more," 19 July 2020 So far, state Democrats have lost in their push for a court ruling that would liberalize vote-by-mail. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "LISTEN LIVE: Federal appeals court hears arguments on Texas Democrats’ push for more to receive mail ballots," 31 Aug. 2020 Talks also reviewed steps Beijing had taken to protect American intellectual property and liberalize China’s market for financial services, according to the statement. Bob Davis, WSJ, "Senior U.S., Chinese Officials Say They Are Committed to Phase-One Trade Deal," 25 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for liberalize

Time Traveler

The first known use of liberalize was in 1765

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Statistics for liberalize

Last Updated

31 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liberalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on liberalize

Nglish: Translation of liberalize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liberalize for Arabic Speakers

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