- to set free, as from imprisonment or bondage.
- to free (a nation or area) from control by a foreign or oppressive government.
- to free (a group or individual) from social or economic constraints or discrimination, especially arising from traditional role expectations or bias.
- to disengage; set free from combination, as a gas.
- Slang. to steal or take over illegally: The soldiers liberated a consignment of cigarettes.
Origin of liberate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for liberate on Thesaurus.com
1. deliver, unfetter, disenthrall, loose. See release.
1. imprison; enthrall.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to give liberty to; make free
- to release (something, esp a gas) from chemical combination during a chemical reaction
- to release from occupation or subjugation by a foreign power
- to free from social prejudices or injustices
- euphemistic, or facetious to steal
Word Origin and History for liberatory
1620s, from Latin liberatus, past participle of liberare "set free," from liber "free" (see liberal). Meaning "to free an occupied territory from the enemy" (often used ironically) is from 1942. Related: Liberated; liberating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper