liberalism: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (lib'ur-u-liz"um, lib'ru-), [key]
— n.
  1. the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
  2. a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
  3. (sometimes cap.) the principles and practices of a liberal party in politics.
  4. a movement in modern Protestantism that emphasizes freedom from tradition and authority, the adjustment of religious beliefs to scientific conceptions, and the development of spiritual capacities.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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