Definition: Liberty

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English liberte, from Old French liberté, from Latin libertas (freedom), from liber (free).


liberty (countable and uncountable, plural liberties)

  1. The condition of being free from control or restrictions.
    The army is here, your liberty is assured.
  2. The condition of being free from imprisonment, slavery, or forced labor.
    The prisoners gained their liberty from an underground tunnel.
  3. The condition of being free to act, believe or express oneself as one chooses.
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.
  4. Freedom from excessive government control.
  5. A short period when a sailor is allowed ashore.
  6. A breach of social convention.
    You needn't take such liberties.

Derived terms

  • civil liberty

Related terms


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