Viewable With ANY Browser

Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.


What It Means to Be a Liberal

Copyright © 2002 by David E. Ross

From (omitting obsolete terms and terms that derive from the names of specific political parties) …

    1. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
    2. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
    3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.

    1. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
    2. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.
    3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.

  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.
  6. 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

  1. 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]
  2. having political or social views favoring reform and progress
  3. tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative]
  4. 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]
  5. not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem" [syn: free, loose]
  1. a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties [syn: progressive] [ant: conservative]
  2. 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

Link to David Ross's home page
David Ross home

Valid HTML 4.01