Date: 1300-1400
Language: French
Origin: liberté, from Latin libertas, from liber 'free'


lib‧er‧ty plural liberties


[uncountable] the freedom and the right to do whatever you want without asking permission or being afraid of authority:
the fight for liberty and equality
individual/personal liberty
threats to individual liberty
religious/political/economic liberty
struggles for political liberty

legal right

[countable usually plural] a particular legal right:
liberties such as freedom of speech
civil liberty

without permission

[singular] something you do without asking permission, especially which may offend or upset someone else
take the liberty of doing something
I took the liberty of cancelling your reservation.

be at liberty to do something

formal to have the right or permission to do something:
I am not at liberty to discuss these matters.

take liberties with somebody/something

a) to make unreasonable changes in something such as a piece of writing:
The film-makers took too many liberties with the original novel.
b) old-fashioned to treat someone without respect by being too friendly too quickly, especially in a sexual way:
He's been taking liberties with our female staff.

at liberty

formal if a prisoner or an animal is at liberty, they are no longer in prison or enclosed in a small place [= free]

Dictionary results for "liberty"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.