civil liberty


noun Usually civil liberties.

the freedom of a citizen to exercise customary rights, as of speech or assembly, without unwarranted or arbitrary interference by the government.
such a right as guaranteed by the laws of a country, as in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights.

Nearby words

  1. civil engineer,
  2. civil engineering,
  3. civil law,
  4. civil libertarian,
  5. civil liberties,
  6. civil list,
  7. civil marriage,
  8. civil partnership,
  9. civil righter,
  10. civil rightist

Origin of civil liberty

First recorded in 1635–45

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for civil liberties

civil liberty

noun

the right of an individual to certain freedoms of speech and action
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for civil liberties

civil liberties

In general, the rights to freedom of thought, expression, and action, and the protection of these rights from government interference or restriction. Civil liberties are the hallmark of liberal, democratic “free” societies. In the United States, the Bill of Rights guarantees a variety of civil liberties, most notably freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, expressed in the First Amendment (see also First Amendment). (See civil rights.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.