Synonym Chooser

How does the verb liberate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of liberate are emancipate, free, manumit, and release. While all these words mean "to set loose from restraint or constraint," liberate stresses particularly the resulting state of liberty.

liberated their country from the tyrant

When would emancipate be a good substitute for liberate?

In some situations, the words emancipate and liberate are roughly equivalent. However, emancipate implies the liberation of a person from subjection or domination.

labor-saving devices emancipated us from household drudgery

Where would free be a reasonable alternative to liberate?

The words free and liberate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, free implies a usually permanent removal from whatever binds, confines, entangles, or oppresses.

freed the animals from their cages

When could manumit be used to replace liberate?

The meanings of manumit and liberate largely overlap; however, manumit implies emancipation from slavery.

the document manumitted the slaves

When is it sensible to use release instead of liberate?

The words release and liberate can be used in similar contexts, but 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

Thesaurus Entries Near liberate

Cite this Entry

“Liberate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/liberate. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on liberate

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