[ lib-er-tair-ee-uh n ]
/ ˌlɪb ərˈtɛər i ən /


a person who advocates liberty, especially with regard to thought or conduct.
a person who maintains the doctrine of free will (distinguished from necessitarian).


advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.
maintaining the doctrine of free will.

Nearby words

  1. liberec,
  2. liberia,
  3. liberian,
  4. liberius,
  5. libero,
  6. libertas,
  7. liberticide,
  8. libertine,
  9. libertinism,
  10. liberty

Origin of libertarian

First recorded in 1780–90; libert(y) + -arian

Related formslib·er·tar·i·an·ism, nounan·ti·lib·er·tar·i·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for libertarian

British Dictionary definitions for libertarian


/ (ˌlɪbəˈtɛərɪən) /


a believer in freedom of thought, expression, etc
philosophy a believer in the doctrine of free willCompare determinism


of, relating to, or characteristic of a libertarian
Derived Formslibertarianism, noun

Word Origin for libertarian

C18: from liberty

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 libertarian



1789, "one who holds the doctrine of free will" (opposed to necessitarian), from liberty (q.v.) on model of unitarian, etc. Political sense of "person advocating liberty in thought and conduct" is from 1878. As an adjective by 1882. U.S. Libertarian Party founded in Colorado, 1971.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper