Circa 1819, from French libéralisme circa 1818. Equivalent to liberal (from Latin līberālis meaning “befitting a freeman,” from līber meaning “free”) + -ism.
liberalism (countable and uncountable, plural liberalisms)
- The quality of being liberal, especially in the sense of being politically progressive or the sense of being willing to give unsparingly.
- (politics) Any political movement founded on the autonomy and personal freedom of the individual, progress and reform, and government by law with the consent of the governed.
- (economics) An economic ideology in favor of laissez faire and the free market (related to economic liberalism).
- classical liberalism
- economic liberalism
- neoclassical liberalism
- social liberalism
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