lib·er·ate | \ˈli-bə-ˌrāt \
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 \ noun
liberatory \ˈli-b(ə-)rə-ˌtȯr-ē \ 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

Not necessarily liberating herself from this label, but finding strong companionship and sweet admiration and romance with Yolanda. Mike Bloom, The Hollywood Reporter, "'GLOW' Stars Wrestle With Inclusion and Satire Through Stereotypes," 5 July 2018 Juventus have begun a serious move to liberate Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid after an incredible nine-year stint in the Spanish capital., "Juventus 'Begin' Stunning €120m Cristiano Ronaldo Move With Real Madrid Prepared to Negotiate," 3 July 2018 One of the first billboards honors Turkish soldiers killed in the battle to liberate this town from Islamic State militants. Sarah El Deeb, Fox News, "Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria," 19 June 2018 One of the first billboards honors Turkish soldiers killed in the battle to liberate this town from Islamic State militants. Washington Post, "Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria," 19 June 2018 If there’s any measly upside to starting the season 22-50 and being mired in an overhaul, at least the Royals have been liberated from any lingering obligations to nostalgia. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "With Mondesi looming, Escobar appreciates why 'unbelievable' streak about to end," 19 June 2018 The invasion has been called the beginning of the end of the war in Europe — by the end of August, all of northern France was liberated. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky vet recalls first mission on D-Day: 'You'll never forget it'," 5 June 2018 In 1945, with World War II in Europe at an end, Soviet forces liberated Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. azcentral, "AZ Memo: Taylor Swift 'Reputation' blasts off in Glendale; Jan Brewer pushes Trump voters to Martha McSally; new restaurants eagerly awaited," 9 May 2018 He was awarded the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster after being wounded in the campaign to liberate Europe., "Emanuel Rosenthal," 7 Feb. 2018

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 2018

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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)

: to take or steal (something)


lib·er·ate | \ˈli-bə-ˌrāt \
liberated; liberating

Kids Definition of liberate

: to set free

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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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