- a person who believes in the doctrine of the freedom of the will
- a person who believes in full individual freedom of thought, expression, and action
- a U.S. political party stressing libertarian principles, as protection of the rights of the individual and minimization of the role of government
- a member of this party
Origin of libertarianlibert(y) + -arian
- of or upholding libertarian principles
- [L-] of, belonging to, or characteristic of the Libertarian Party
- One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
- One who believes in free will.
Origin of libertarianFrom liberty
- One who advocates liberty either generally or on a specific issue, e.g. "civil libertarian" (in favour of civil liberties).
- (chiefly US) A believer in a political doctrine that emphasizes individual liberty and a lack of governmental regulation and oversight both in matters of the economy ('free market') and in personal behavior where no one's rights are being violated or threatened. Also 'classical liberal', akin to 'anarcho-capitalist'.
- (chiefly Europe) An anarchist, typically with socialist implications.
- (philosophy) A believer in thinking beings' freedom to choose their own destiny, i.e. a believer in free will as opposed to those who believe the future is predetermined.
- (US, prefixed to "Republican") A member of the Republican Party (especially a legislat) who emphasizes economic and Constitutional, rather than religious and personal, aspects of the party's platform.
- (US, prefixed to "Democrat") A member of the Democratic Party (especially a legislat) who emphasizes personal and international, rather than economic, aspects of the party's platform.
(comparative more libertarian, superlative most libertarian)
1789 liberty +"Ž -arian
libertaire (“anarchist") formed from libertÃ© (“freedom"), from Latin libertas and the suffix -aire, from Latin -arius.
The French word is first attested in a letter in May 1857 by French anarcho-communist Joseph DÃ©jacque to anarchist philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, reading:
hence the sense is of “extreme left-wing".
The French term was popularized as a euphemism for anarchist in the 1890s, following the lois scÃ©lÃ©rates, when anarchist publications were banned by law in France.
The sense of “pro-property individualist" developed in the US in the 1940s, and was popularized in the 1950s. In the 1940s, Leonard Read began calling himself “libertarian" to contrast with “classical liberal". In 1955, Dean Russell also promoted use of the word, writing: “Let those of us who love liberty trademark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word "˜libertarian'."
- (politics) A member of a political party or movement that uses the term "Libertarian" in its name (e.g., the Libertarian Party of the United States); one who is likely to support policies that are libertarian.
- (politics) Of, or pertaining, to the Libetarian Party in the United States.