- Historical the subjects in the trivium and quadrivium
- the subjects of an academic college course, including literature, philosophy, languages, history, and, usually, survey courses of the sciences, as distinguished from professional or technical subjects: sometimes referred to as arts, as in Bachelor of Arts
Origin of liberal artstranslated, translation of Classical Latin artes liberales, literally , arts befitting a freeman: so named in contrast to artes serviles, lower (lit., servile) arts, and because open to study only by freemen (L liberi); in later use understood as “arts becoming a gentleman”
- Academic disciplines, including literature, history, languages, philosophy, mathematics, and general sciences, viewed in contrast to professional and technical disciplines.
- The disciplines comprising the trivium and quadrivium.
Origin of liberal artsMiddle English, translation of Medieval Latin artēs liberālēs, the trivium and quadrivium : Latin artēs, pl. of ars, subject of study + līberālēs, pl. of līberālis, proper to free persons.