- n. (pl. -ies)
1 a freedom from captivity, imprisonment, slavery, or despotic control. b a personification of this.
2 a the right or power to do as one pleases. b (foll. by to + infin.) right, power, opportunity, permission. c Philos. freedom from control by fate or necessity.
3 a (usu. in pl.) a right, privilege, or immunity, enjoyed by prescription or grant. b (in sing. or pl.) hist. an area having such privileges etc., esp. a district controlled by a city though outside its boundary or an area outside a prison where some prisoners might reside.
4 setting aside of rules or convention.
Phrases and idioms:
1 free, not imprisoned (set at liberty).
2 (foll. by to + infin.) entitled, permitted.
3 available, disengaged. Liberty Bell (in the US) a bell in Philadelphia rung at the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. liberty boat Brit. Naut. a boat carrying liberty men. liberty bodice a close-fitting under-bodice. liberty hall a place where one may do as one likes. liberty horse a horse performing in a circus without a rider. liberty man Brit. Naut. a sailor with leave to go ashore. liberty of the subject the rights of a subject under constitutional rule. Liberty ship hist. a prefabricated US-built freighter of the war of 1939-45.
1 (often foll. by with) behave in an unduly familiar manner.
2 (foll. by with) deal freely or superficially with rules or facts. take the liberty (foll. by to + infin., or of + verbal noun) presume, venture.
Etymology: ME f. OF liberteacute f. L libertas -tatis f. liber free
Useful english dictionary. 2012.