- the academic course of instruction at a college intended to provide general knowledge and comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects.
- (during the Middle Ages) studies comprising the quadrivium and trivium, including arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, grammar, rhetoric, and logic.
Origin of liberal arts
Examples from the Web for liberal arts
In the single digits were liberal-arts majors (8 percent), visual and performing arts (5 percent) and engineering (7 percent).America’s Clouded College Thinking
July 23, 2013
The premise of a liberal-arts education is the idea that school is there for something more than earning power.Did My Education Cost Too Much?
September 12, 2012
He was a liberal-arts student but had this idea for a project over at MIT involving solid rocket fuel.The Harvard Psychedelic Club
January 9, 2010
- the fine arts, humanities, sociology, languages, and literatureOften shortened to: arts
Word Origin and History for liberal arts
late 14c., translating Latin artes liberales; the seven attainments directed to intellectual enlargement, not immediate practical purpose, and thus deemed worthy of a free man (liberal in this sense is opposed to servile or mechanical). They were divided into the trivium -- grammar, logic, rhetoric (cf. trivial) -- and the quadrivium -- arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy.
The areas of learning that cultivate general intellectual ability rather than technical or professional skills. The term liberal arts is often used as a synonym for humanities, although the liberal arts also include the sciences. The word liberal comes from the Latin liberalis, meaning suitable for a free man, as opposed to a slave.
The areas of learning that cultivate general intellectual ability rather than technical or professional skills. Liberal arts is often used as a synonym for humanities, because literature, languages, history, and philosophy are often considered the primary subjects of the liberal arts. The term liberal arts originally meant arts suitable for free people (libri in Latin) but not for slaves.