lib·​er·​ate | \ ˈli-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce liberate (audio) \
liberated; liberating

Definition of liberate

transitive verb

1 : to set at liberty : free specifically : to free (something, such as a country) from domination by a foreign power
2 : to free from combination liberate the gas by adding acid
3 : to take or take over illegally or unjustly material liberated from a nearby construction site— Thorne Dreyer

Other Words from liberate

liberator \ ˈli-​bə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce liberate (audio) \ noun
liberatory \ ˈli-​b(ə-​)rə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce liberate (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for liberate

free, release, liberate, emancipate, manumit mean to set loose from restraint or constraint. free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses. freed the animals from their cages release suggests a setting loose from confinement, restraint, or a state of pressure or tension, often without implication of permanent liberation. released his anger on a punching bag liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty. liberated their country from the tyrant emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination. labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery manumit implies emancipation from slavery. the document manumitted the slaves

Examples of liberate in a Sentence

Rebels fought to liberate the country. Soldiers liberated the hostages from their captors. Laptop computers could liberate workers from their desks. He was using materials that he had liberated from a construction site.
Recent Examples on the Web Ukraine’s government sees no easy way to counterattack and liberate the plant safely. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Shopping mindfully — instead of impulsively or compulsively — will save you money and liberate you from the time required to organize, clean and manage the constant churn of items coming into and going out of your home. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 Ernest Marvel of Frankford, Delaware, helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. Jennifer Griffin, Fox News, 15 July 2022 To liberate them from the ideals of the mainstream and to be more authentic by proposing something more artistic and highly visual. ELLE, 28 June 2022 There's no special forces team that is going to come liberate you. Chris Kenning, USA TODAY, 26 June 2022 By knowingly breaking free from trappings of the tragedy play and from the social narrative of Black death, Ijames grants his characters the ability to liberate themselves from the crushing institutions of hate that thrive around them. New York Times, 22 June 2022 Hopper turns out to be alive but imprisoned in a Soviet gulag, and Joyce and conspiracy-loving Murray (Brett Gelman) have to figure out how to liberate him. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 24 May 2022 Zelenskyy on Saturday emphasized that the Donbas remains part of Ukraine and his forces were fighting to liberate it. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 22 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of liberate

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for liberate

Latin liberatus, past participle of liberare, from liber — see liberal entry 1

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Time Traveler for liberate

Time Traveler

The first known use of liberate was circa 1623

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Dictionary Entries Near liberate

Liberal Unionist



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Statistics for liberate

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Liberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for liberate


lib·​er·​ate | \ ˈli-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce liberate (audio) \
liberated; liberating

Kids Definition of liberate

: to set free

More from Merriam-Webster on liberate

Nglish: Translation of liberate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liberate for Arabic Speakers


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