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



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 labour.
    • The prisoners gained their liberty from an underground tunnel.
  3. The condition of being free to act, believe or express oneself as one chooses.
    • The prisoners were at liberty to speak freely with their lawyers.
  4. Freedom from excessive government control.
    • 2012 December 21, Simon Jenkins, “We mustn't overreact to North Korea boys' toys”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 2, page 23: 
      The threat of terrorism to the British lies in the overreaction to it of British governments. Each one in turn clicks up the ratchet of surveillance, intrusion and security. Each one diminishes liberty.
  5. A short period when a sailor is allowed ashore.
    • We're going on a three-day liberty as soon as we dock.
  6. A breach of social convention (often liberties).
    • You needn't take such liberties.
  7. A local government unit in medieval England – see liberty.


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liberty m (invariable)

  1. art nouveau