All word meanings are from: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fifth Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.
lib n. Informal A movement that seeks to achieve equal rights for a group; liberation.
li.ba.tion n. 1a. The pouring of a liquid offering as a religious ritual. b. The liquid so poured. 2. Informal a. A beverage, especially an intoxicating beverage. b. The act of drinking an intoxicating beverage. [Middle English libacioun < Latin libatio, libation– < libatus, past participle of libare, to pour out as an offering.]
lib.ber n. Informal A proponent of liberation for a group.
Lib.er.a.ce (Wladziu) 1919-1987. American pianist and entertainer who was noted for his virtuosity and flamboyant style.] 🙂
lib.er.al adj. [Middle English, generous < Old French < Latin liberalis < liber, free; see leudh- in App. I. (Indo-European Roots] –lib’er.al.ly adv. –lib’er.al.ness n.
liberal arts pl.n. 1. Academic disciplines, including literature, history, languages, philosophy, mathematics, and general sciences, viewed in contrast to professional and technical disciplines. 2. The disciplines comprising the trivium and quadrivium. [Middle English, translation of Medieval Latin artes liberales, the trivium and quadrivium : Latin artes, pl. of ars, subject of study + liberales, pl. of liberalis, proper to free persons.]
lib.er.al.ism n. 1. The state or quality of being liberal. 2a. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority. b. often Liberalism The tenets or policies of a Liberal party. 3. An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard. 4. Liberalism a. A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology. b. A 19th-century Roman Catholic movement that favored political democracy and ecclesiastical reform but was theologically orthodox. –Lib’er.al.ist n. –lib’er.al.is’tic (lis’tik) adj.
lib.er.ate tr.v. -at.ed, -at.ing, -ates 1. To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control. 2. Chemistry To release (a gas, for example) from combination. [Latin liberare, liberat– < liber, free; see leudh- in App. I. (Indo-European Roots)] –lib’er.at’ing.ly adv. –lib’er.a’tor n.
lib.er.a.tion n. 1. The act of liberating or the state of being liberated. 2. The act or process of trying to achieve equal rights and status. –lib’er.a’tion.ist n.
liberation theology n. A school of theology, especially prevalent in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, that finds in the Gospel a call to free people from political, social, and economic oppression. –liberation theologian n.
lib.er.o n., pl. -os In volleyball, a defensive player who can take the position of any backcourt player but cannot block or return the ball when it is higher than the net. [Italian, free < Old Italian < Latin liber; see leudh- in App. I.]
lib.er.tar.i.an n. 1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state. 2. One who believes in free will. [< LIBERTY.] –lib’er.tar’i.an adj. –lib’er.tar’i.an.ism n.
libertarian socialism n. A political doctrine that promotes decentralized collectivism as a means of maximizing individual freedom and minimizing the power of the state and of concentrated private wealth. –libertarian socialist n.
lib.er.tine n. 1. One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person. 2. One who defies established religious precepts; a free-thinker. adj. Morally unrestrained; dissolute. [Middle English, freed-man < Latin libertinus < libertus <liber, free; see leudh- in App. I.]
lib.er.ty n., pl. -ties 1. The condition of being free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor. 2a. The condition of being free from oppressive restriction or control by a government or other power. b. A right to engage in certain actions without control or interference by a government or other power: the liberties protected by the Bill of Rights. 3. The right or power to act as one chooses: “Her upcountry isolation . . . gave her the liberty to be what she wanted to be, free of the pressure of spotlights and literary fashions” (Lucinda Franks). 4. often liberties A deliberate departure from what is proper, accepted, or prudent . . . 5. A period, usually short, during which a sailor is authorized to go ashore. –idioms: at liberty 1. Not in confinement or under constraint; free. 2. Entitled or permitted to do something: We found ourselves at liberty to explore the ground. take the liberty To dare (to do something) on one’s own initiative or without asking permission; I took the liberty to send you these pictures of my vacation. [Middle English liberte < Old French < Latin libertas < liber, free; see leudh- in App. I.]
li.bi.do n., pl. -dos 1. The psychic and emotional energy associated with instinctual biological drives. 2a. Sexual desire. b. Manifestation of the sexual drive. [Latin libido, desire; see Leubh- in App. I.] –li.bid’i.nal adj. –li.bid’i.nal.ly adv.
Li.bra n. 1. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Scorpius and Virgo. Also called Balance, Scales. 2a. The seventh sign of the zodiac in astrology. Also called Balance, Scales. b. pl. -bras One who is born under this sign. [Middle English < Latin Libra < libra, balance, the constellation Libra.]
li.brar.i.an n. 1. A person who is a specialist in library work. 2. A person who is responsible for a collection of specialized or technical information or materials, such as musical scores or computer documentation. [“Marion the librarian” from Meredith Willson’s masterpiece, The Music Man). 🙂 ]
li.brar.y n., pl -ies 1a. A place in which reading materials, such as books, periodicals, and newspapers, and often other materials such as musical and video recordings, are kept for use or lending. b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged. c. A room in a private home for such a collection. d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection. [Middle English librarie < Anglo-Norman < Latin librarium, bookcase < neuter of librarius, of books < liber, libr-, inner bark of trees used as a writing material, book.]
li.bret.to n., pl. -bret.tos or -bret.ti 1. The text of a dramatic musical work such as an opera, including the lyrics to be sung and sometimes interpolated spoken passages. 2. A book containing such a text. [Italian, diminutive of libro, book < Latin liber, libr-, inner bark of trees used as a writing material, book.]
[App. I: (Indo-European Roots): leubh- To care, desire, love. Derivatives include . . . libido. III. Zero-grade form *lubh-. 1. Suffixed form *lubh-a-, LOVE, from Old English lufu, love, from Germanic *lubo-. 2. Suffixed (stative) form *lubh-e-, QUODLIBET, from Latin libere, to be dear, be pleasing. 3. LIBIDO, from Latin libido, pleasure, desire.
[App. I: (Indo-European Roots): leudh- To mount up, grow. Oldest form *h,leudh-. 2. Suffixed form *leudh-ero-, LIBERAL, LIBERATE, LIBERO, LIBERTINE, LIBERTY, LIVERY; DELIVER, from Latin liber, free (the precise semantic development is obscure).]