verb (used with object), lib·er·at·ed, lib·er·at·ing.
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.
- liberation theology,
Origin of liberate
lib·er·a·tive, lib·er·a·to·ry [lib-er-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈlɪb ər əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivelib·er·a·tor, nounpre·lib·er·ate, verb (used with object), pre·lib·er·at·ed, pre·lib·er·at·ing.re·lib·er·ate, verb (used with object), re·lib·er·at·ed, re·lib·er·at·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
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
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