- suitable for a freeman; not restricted: now only in liberal arts, liberal education, etc.
- giving freely; generous
- large or plentiful; ample; abundant: a liberal reward
- ☆ not restricted to the literal meaning; not strict: a liberal interpretation of the Bible
- tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded; specif., not orthodox
- of democratic or republican forms of government, as distinguished from monarchies, aristocracies, etc.
- favoring reform or progress, as in religion, education, etc.; specif., favoring political reforms tending toward democracy and personal freedom for the individual; progressive
- designating or of a political party upholding liberal principles, esp. such a party in England or Canada
- Obsolete excessively free or indecorous in behavior; licentious
OFr < L liberalis < liber, free < IE base *leudhero-, belonging to the people, free < base *leudh-, to grow up, rise > Ger leute, people, OE leodan, to grow