[ lib-er-uh-liz-uh m, lib-ruh- ]
/ ˈlɪb ər əˌlɪz əm, ˈlɪb rə- /


the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
(sometimes initial capital letter) the principles and practices of a liberal party in politics.
a movement in modern Protestantism that emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the development of spiritual capacities.

Nearby words

  1. liberal party,
  2. liberal studies,
  3. liberal unionist,
  4. liberalia,
  5. liberalisation,
  6. liberality,
  7. liberalization,
  8. liberalize,
  9. liberally,
  10. liberate

Origin of liberalism

First recorded in 1810–20; liberal + -ism

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

British Dictionary definitions for liberalistic


/ (ˈlɪbərəˌlɪzəm, ˈlɪbrə-) /


liberal opinions, practices, or politics
a movement in modern Protestantism that rejects biblical authority
Derived Formsliberalist, noun, adjectiveliberalistic, adjective

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

Word Origin and History for liberalistic



1819, from liberal + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for liberalistic


In the twentieth century, a viewpoint or ideology associated with free political institutions and religious toleration, as well as support for a strong role of government in regulating capitalism and constructing the welfare state (see also welfare state).

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.