The Meaning of Liberty: What It Is and How To Use It

If someone uses the word liberty, what do they mean? This article will teach you about the meaning of liberty and provide examples.

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Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Give me liberty, or give me death! The word liberty appears in so many idioms and famous phrases. But what does this word of the day actually mean? This article will define liberty, teach you how to use it, and provide translations and related words to liberty.

What Does Liberty Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word liberty is a noun that refers to personal freedom, governmental freedom, or freedom from any sort of control or rule. It can also refer to a sailor’s ability to go ashore in the Navy. Liberty is three syllables (li-ber-ty), and liberty’s pronunciation is ˈlɪb ər ti.

How Can We Use Liberty in a Sentence?

The word liberty is a noun that people can use in many settings and circumstances. This word is neither casual nor formal, so you can use it in any situation to refer to a type of freedom. Example sentences are a great way to learn new words. Study the examples below, and then see if you can use the word liberty in your own sentence!

Example #1

While his parents tried to set rules and boundaries, the 18-year-old insisted that his individual liberty trumped their rules.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Individual liberty is mentioned in the above sentence.

Example #2

The people fought for religious liberty and freedom of choice, but the government cracked down on their view that the nation should unite under one religion.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Religious liberty is mentioned in the above sentence.

Example #3

The woman wrote a book on liberty and covered two concepts: liberty of thought and liberty of body.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Bodily liberty and liberty of thought are mentioned in the above sentence.

Example #4

We visited the Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty on our trip to the East Coast.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Landmarks that stand for liberty are mentioned in the above sentence.

Example #5

While the man stated that he had personal liberty and freedom of speech, the security guards still removed him from the building using physical restraint when he began spouting slurs.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Personal liberty is mentioned in the above sentence.

Example #6

Many people question where political liberty and political rights end and personal liberty starts.

Question: What kind of liberty is mentioned in the above sentence?

Answer: Political liberty is mentioned in the above sentence.

What Is the Etymology of Liberty?

Liberty has been used since Middle English and comes from the Latin libertas and Old French liberté. These roots also form words like libertarian and liberal.

What Are Translations of Liberty?

The term liberty is an English word. While many translations of liberty might look and sound similar to the word liberty because of its shared Latin roots, it is important to know the translation of the word liberty if you are going to be traveling to another country. 

It is always considered a sign of respect to try and learn the language before traveling, and this list from Nice Translator can help!

  • Marathi: स्वातंत्र्य
  • Spanish: libertad
  • Romanian: libertate
  • Croatian: sloboda
  • Chinese (PRC): 自由
  • Slovak: sloboda
  • Hungarian: szabadság
  • Indonesian: kebebasan
  • Bulgarian: свобода
  • Estonian: vabadus
  • Swahili: uhuru
  • Arabic: حرية
  • Icelandic: frelsi
  • Danish: frihed
  • Filipino: kalayaan
  • Hindi: स्वतंत्रता
  • Lithuanian: Laisvė
  • Serbian: слобода
  • Tamil: சுதந்திரம்
  • French: liberté
  • Portuguese (Brazil): liberdade
  • Telugu: లిబర్టీ
  • Malay: kebebasan
  • Gujarati: સ્વાતંત્ર્ય
  • Turkish: özgürlük
  • Russian: свобода
  • Czech: svoboda
  • Japanese: 自由
  • Bengali: স্বাধীনতা
  • Slovenian: svoboda
  • Urdu: آزادی
  • Vietnamese: tự do
  • Korean: 자유
  • Catalan: libertat
  • Kannada: ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ
  • Dutch: vrijheid
  • Amharic: ነፃነት
  • Portuguese (Portugal): liberdade
  • Basque: askatasun
  • German: Freiheit
  • Finnish: vapaus
  • Malayalam: സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം
  • Latvian: brīvība
  • Norwegian: frihet
  • Greek: ελευθερία
  • Ukrainian: свобода
  • Thai: เสรีภาพ
  • Italian: libertà
  • Swedish: frihet
  • Polish: wolność
  • Hebrew: חוֹפֶשׁ
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 自由
  • Welsh: rhyddid

What Are Synonyms of Liberty?

Liberty has a very positive connotation, but many other words have a similar definition as liberty with a neutral or a negative connotation. For synonyms for the word liberty, you can reference Power Thesaurus

Can you tell if these synonyms of liberty have a positive, negative, or neutral connotation?

  • authority
  • authorization
  • autonomy
  • birthright
  • carte blanche
  • concession
  • consent
  • deliverance
  • discharge
  • dispensation
  • emancipation
  • entitlement
  • exemption
  • familiarity
  • franchise
  • free
  • free hand
  • free rein
  • freedom
  • freedoms
  • furlough
  • immunity
  • impropriety
  • indecorum
  • independence
  • independency
  • latitude
  • leave
  • leave of absence
  • leisure
  • liberation
  • liberties
  • license
  • manumission
  • opportunity
  • permission
  • power
  • prerogative
  • privilege
  • release
  • right
  • sabbatical
  • sanction
  • scope
  • self-determination
  • self-government
  • shore leave
  • sovereignty
  • time off
  • vacation

What Are Antonyms of Liberty?

If someone has the opposite of liberty, they are restrained and do not have freedom. To learn various ways to say the opposite of liberty, you can look at this list of antonyms of liberty from Power Thesaurus

Can you think of a situation where you would use antonyms of the word liberty?

  • adversity
  • arrest
  • ban
  • banning
  • bar
  • barring
  • black hole
  • bondage
  • captivity
  • chores
  • coercion
  • command
  • compulsion
  • confinement
  • constraint
  • debarment
  • denial
  • dependence
  • detention
  • disallowance
  • disallowing
  • disapproval
  • disclaimer
  • domination
  • embargo
  • forbidding
  • imprisonment
  • incarceration
  • injunction
  • injustice
  • interdict
  • interdicting
  • interdiction
  • internment
  • isolation
  • jail
  • karma
  • limitation
  • lockdown
  • making illegal
  • moratorium
  • obstruction
  • opposition
  • outlawing
  • prohibiting
  • prohibition
  • proscription
  • refusal
  • rejection
  • responsibility
  • restraint
  • restriction
  • servitude
  • slavery
  • subjection
  • subjugation
  • tight grip
  • veto
  • vetoing


The word liberty means freedom. People can use the word liberty in various contexts, from talking about personal liberty to political liberty and more. Can you think of any situations where it is important to have liberty? What about times when you might not want to have liberty?


  1. Liberty synonyms – 988 Words and Phrases for Liberty | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Liberty antonyms – 514 Opposites of Liberty | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Liberty Definition & Meaning | 
  4. Liberty | Nice Translator