The Word Liberal

The word Liberal, what does it mean?

The definition below is from the dictionary on my computer. Not an actual 10 pound book, that one is under the front wheel of my bike on the trainer, but the one that comes built into the operating system. Regardless of the form of dictionary I used, it doesn’t really sound like a bad word to me. In fact it sounds like a great word to me.

  1. open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values : they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people.
    • favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms : liberal citizenship laws.
    • (in a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform : a liberal democratic state.
    • ( Liberal) of or characteristic of Liberals or a Liberal Party.
    • ( Liberal) (in the UK) of or relating to the Liberal Democrat Party : the Liberal leader.
    • Theology regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change.
  2. [ attrib. ] (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.
  3. (esp. of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact : they could have given the 1968 Act a more liberal interpretation.
  4. given, used, or occurring in generous amounts : liberal amounts of wine had been consumed.
    • (of a person) giving generously : Sam was too liberal with the wine.

What’s in the Thesaurus?

  1. the values of a liberal society: tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened; permissive, free, free and easy, easygoing, libertarian, indulgent,lenient. ANTONYMS narrow-minded, bigoted.
  2.  a liberal social agenda: progressive, advanced, modern, forward-looking, forward-thinking, progressivist, enlightened, reformist, radical. ANTONYMS reactionary,conservative.
  3. a liberal education: wide-ranging, broad-based, general.
  4. a liberal interpretation of divorce laws: flexible, broad, loose, rough, free, general, nonliteral, nonspecific, imprecise, vague, indefinite. ANTONYMS strict, to the letter.
  5. a liberal coating of paint: abundant, copious, ample, plentiful, generous, lavish, luxuriant, profuse, considerable, prolific, rich; literary plenteous. ANTONYMS scant.
  6. they were liberal with their cash: generous, openhanded, unsparing, unstinting, ungrudging, lavish, free, munificent, bountiful, beneficent, benevolent, bighearted,philanthropic, charitable, altruistic, unselfish; literary bounteous. ANTONYMS careful, miserly.

Check out the antonyms – who and what do they sound like? Why are the antonym people working so hard to make liberal a bad word?

On another note, Colin sent me an article this morning, ( which you should read. Just in case you get anything smelly in the mail – you’ll know it’s from the republican, tea party crazies. Who in their right mind would vote for someone who aligns themselves with a overly reactionary predator? Mama Grizzlies? Are you kidding me! Kill first, never ask questions. Great motto! Great Family Values!

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