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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Doing so will finally help liberate Black banks from the shadow and suspicion of Freeman’s collapse by enabling their missions to uplift the underbanked and disadvantaged. Kevin Garnett, Time, 1 June 2021 Rather than working to liberate ourselves from such enmeshments, we more often are compelled by our risk-aversion to seek deeper and broader entanglements, or at least to accept such entanglements as an inescapable fact of life as it is now lived. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 13 May 2021 For techno-optimists, the point of AI is not to diminish humans but to liberate them: to automate activities which steal time away from humans – time which would be better spent creating, imagining, and playing. Calum Chace, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Wealth is supposed to liberate us from the dangers of dependency but quickly becomes a dependency in its own right. Sebastian Junger, WSJ, 13 May 2021 Evol sees it as a place where Black artists can create and liberate. Jenna Ross, Star Tribune, 25 Feb. 2021 For example, 1upHealth just raised $25 million to liberate medical record and insurance claims data in the cloud. Katie Jennings, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2021 The Lansing rioters of last spring may have set out to liberate Michigan but in their blind rage may have succeeded only in encumbering it with the dizzying danger of a runaway pandemic. Kent Sepkowitz, CNN, 14 Apr. 2021 The Dutch have never forgotten the young American men who gave their lives during World War II to liberate the Netherlands -- and the rest of Europe -- from the Nazis. oregonlive, 13 Apr. 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for liberate

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Liberate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for liberate



English Language Learners Definition of liberate

: to free (someone or something) from being controlled by another person, group, etc.
: to give freedom or more freedom to (someone)
humorous : to take or steal (something)


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

Kids Definition of liberate

: to set free


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