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

Operation Dragoon enabled the Allies to liberate most of southern France in only four weeks. Washington Post, "France honors African veterans of World War II landings," 15 Aug. 2019 Congress needs to liberate telemedicine once and for all. 4. Marie Fishpaw, National Review, "A Health Plan for President Trump," 1 Aug. 2019 The Facebook page, which has drawn the very real attention of the Air Force, jokingly intends on raiding the super secretive military facility in an effort to liberate any potential extraterrestrials being held at Area 51. Matt Mcnulty,, "Bud Light Offers Free Beer to 'Any Alien That Makes It Out' of Area 51," 19 July 2019 Eventually, after Kurtz explained what Bob’s service to liberate France meant to the French people, Bob relented. Kevin Cullen,, "France honored Bob Cleverdon for saving it from the Nazis; he honors us just by being Bob," 15 July 2019 Rodríguez said the purported network wanted to steal a helicopter to liberate Raul Baduel, a former defense minister now in jail, and install him as president. Fox News, "Maduro government claims plot to assassinate Venezuelan leader thwarted," 27 June 2019 This morning, delve into the story of D-Day and the battle to liberate France during a hands-on, sensorial World War II history experience. National Geographic, "France Family Journey: From Paris to Normandy and Beyond," 17 June 2019 Battles Past, Present and Future The goal of D-Day was simple enough, but far from easy: to liberate Europe. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "‘We’re Still in the Same Boat.’ As the World Marks 75 Years Since D-Day, the Men Who Were There Look Back—and Ahead," 5 June 2019 And his work had an underlying theme of great generosity—to liberate as much as the ground plane as possible for human occupation. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Remembering ‘maverick’ British architect Will Alsop," 15 May 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

18 Aug 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

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