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 liberator (audio) \ noun
liberatory \ ˈli-​b(ə-​)rə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce liberatory (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

Jane Whitefield was a corporal in the Women’s Army Corp, and was reportedly in Paris the week after it was liberated. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Services set for La Cañadan Paul Whitefield, veteran newspaper editor," 27 Aug. 2019 Mermaiding felt like a meld of dancing liberated from the particulars of technique and swimming removed from the rigidity of form. Elizabeth Kiefer, The Know, "“Mermaiding” is both a thing and suddenly everywhere. But is it a real workout?," 17 Aug. 2019 In fact, the house is so capable that Ben's dad, liberated from his single-parenting duties, thinks about dating again—starting with Sara Barnes. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "The AI-Fueled, Anxious Hopefulness of Disney's Smart House," 26 June 2019 Shedding this load will be liberating for all of you. Ask Amy, al, "Ask Amy: Is there any way to help a grown man grow up?," 8 May 2019 Graffiti vandalism has started occurring at the cemetery in the lead up to the 75th anniversary of allied forces landing in the Netherlands to liberate the area from Nazi control during WWII, the BBC reported. Fox News, "Vandals spray paint swastika, deface graves of fallen WWII soldiers in Netherlands," 14 Sep. 2019 Common sense is viewed as intrinsic, something to be liberated rather than learned. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The conservative commentariat’s love affair with nootropics," 3 Sep. 2019 Shareholder primacy was offered as an alternative to liberate companies and reinvigorate the economy by shedding layers corporate accountability. Miguel Padró, Quartz at Work, "If we want our corporate leaders held accountable, we must let other stakeholders in," 26 Aug. 2019 East Bay PREC is not alone in its quest to liberate property owners from the traditional housing market. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "People power: A growing number of groups are flipping the Bay Area’s insane housing market on its head," 25 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for liberate

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for liberate

The first known use of liberate was circa 1623

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on liberate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with liberate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for liberate

Spanish Central: Translation of liberate

Nglish: Translation of liberate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of liberate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on liberate

What made you want to look up liberate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

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