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What It Means to Be a Liberal
Copyright © 2002 by David E. Ross
From Dictionary.com (omitting obsolete terms and terms that derive from the names of specific political parties) …
- Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
- Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
- Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
- Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
- Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
- Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.
- Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or university curriculum: a liberal education.
Synonyms: liberal, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, generous, handsome, munificent, openhanded
- A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition © 2000
- Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies.
"Liberal education." — Macaulay.
"A liberal tongue." — Shakespeare.
- Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver.
"Liberal of praise." — Bacon.
"Infinitely good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite." — Milton.
- Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.
"His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower." — Shakespeare.
- Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.
- Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
- Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians.
"I confess I see nothing liberal in this 'order of thoughts,' as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it." — Hazlitt.
Synonyms: Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free.
- One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998
- showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions" [syn: broad, tolerant]
- having political or social views favoring reform and progress
- tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative]
- given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather" [syn: big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, openhanded]
- not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem" [syn: free, loose]
- a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties [syn: progressive] [ant: conservative]
- a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997
I'm proud to be a liberal.
Those conservative politicians who use liberal as an epithet do not insult me. Instead, they compliment me.
10 March 2002
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