lib·​er·​tar·​i·​an | \ ˌli-bər-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce libertarian (audio) , -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 How to pronounce libertarianism (audio) , -​ˈte-​rē-​ \ noun

Examples of libertarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Massie, a libertarian-leaning Republican, defended the Illinois teen, Kyle Rittenhouse. Bruce Schreiner, Star Tribune, "Kentucky congressman defends teen accused in protest deaths," 4 Sep. 2020 Spanberger, a former CIA officer, faces Virginia Del. Nick Freitas, a former Green Beret vet and libertarian-leaning Republican. Washington Post, "Obama endorses several Virginia Democrats who are running for Congress in tight races," 3 Aug. 2020 And a proposal to use more intrusive mobile phone location data to track the virus failed to pass in the German parliament last month after protests from civil libertarians. Hadas Gold, CNN, "Wary Germans hate sharing their data. Will they use a Covid-19 tracking app?," 25 Apr. 2020 Civil libertarians have objected to the fact that the law allows guns to be removed for up to 21 days before a court hears the testimony from the person losing the firearms. Los Angeles Times, "California could expand use of gun violence restraining orders under bill sent to governor," 9 Sep. 2019 But the impulses animating the right’s coronavirus backlash are being refracted strangely—and in ways that aren’t necessarily promising for libertarians. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Death Cult Takes to the Streets," 18 Apr. 2020 There are few libertarians to be found in a pandemic. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: In this COVID-19 economy, everyone in Washington leans left," 3 Apr. 2020 The modern originalist movement, like many of the movements embraced by today’s conservatives and libertarians, came out of the process of intellectual ferment on the right between the mid 1950s and the mid 1980s. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "‘Common-Good Constitutionalism’ Is No Alternative to Originalism," 2 Apr. 2020 Civil libertarians warned that its use by the George W. Bush administration in the war on terror was a dangerous encroachment on constitutional rights, but our alarm was brushed aside with insistence that only terrorists had any reason to worry. Bonnie Kristian, TheWeek, "Beware the emergency power grab," 23 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for libertarian

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The first known use of libertarian was in 1789

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Libertarian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce libertarian (audio)

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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