lib·​er·​tar·​i·​an | \ˌli-bər-ˈter-ē-ən, -ˈte-rē-\

Definition of libertarian 

1 : an advocate of the doctrine of free will

2a : a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

b capitalized : a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles

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Other Words from libertarian

libertarian adjective
libertarianism \ˌli-​bər-​ˈter-​ē-​ə-​ˌni-​zəm, -​ˈte-​rē-​ \ noun

Examples of libertarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Jacobs, a staunch libertarian, won the Republican primary in May by fewer than 20 votes. Dan Gartland,, "Kane’s Mayoral Opponent Calls Him Out for Continuing to Wrestle as Election Nears," 6 July 2018 Many of the early adopters of Bitcoin were libertarians and anarchists who were drawn to the technology’s stateless, decentralized nature. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "Think Cryptocurrency Is Confusing? Try Paying Taxes on It," 21 Mar. 2018 Single-party rule since Singapore gained independence in 1965 has ensured stability and fostered a security state that is among the world’s most efficient, although sometimes it is decried by civil libertarians as repressive. Washington Post, "Ties with US, North Korea make Singapore optimum summit site," 12 May 2018 Comey, obviously, doesn’t see it that way, and in general, federal prosecutors are not major civil libertarians. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "James Comey isn’t the hero we deserve. But he’s the hero we need," 18 Apr. 2018 That, at least, is how many libertarians, extreme conservatives and anti-government campaigners view it. Max Strasser, Newsweek, "For Militiamen, the Fight for Cliven Bundy's Ranch Is Far From Over," 23 Apr. 2014 Having already culled the list of potential nominees, Leo is now focusing on rallying conservatives and libertarians around the eventual pick. Noah Bierman,, "Trump's court appointments have been the smoothest part of his presidency — because he's had some help," 3 July 2018 Free-market ideology was dominant among the politicians of the day, Clintonian New Democrats and Gingrichian libertarians alike. Micah L. Sifry, The New Republic, "Escape From Facebookistan," 21 May 2018 Guaranteed income, reconceived as basic income, is gaining support across the spectrum, from libertarians to labor leaders. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?," 24 Mar. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'libertarian.' 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 libertarian

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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The first known use of libertarian was in 1789

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English Language Learners Definition of libertarian

: a person who believes that people should be allowed to do and say what they want without any interference from the government

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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